AUS v PAK 2019: Brett Lee wants Pat Cummins to take the new ball against Pakistan

Cummins has been outstanding for Australia in Test cricket since his comeback.

Pat Cummins | Getty

Having seen him far too long operate as Australia's first-change despite all his quality, former pacer Brett Lee wants the new ball to be handed immediately over to speedster Pat Cummins for the two World Test Championship fixtures at the start of the summer against Pakistan. 

Cummins has been outstanding since his comeback to Test cricket in March 2017. He was integral to Australia's Ashes-retaining campaign UK earlier this year; taking 29 wickets and featuring in all five Tests. 

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"Pat Cummins has to get the new ball, he must get the new ball," Lee told AAP.

"Don't bowl him first-change. Sure, he can do it. But don't waste him."

"I don't know if he's been unfairly targeted as a guy who can play a number of roles. That's been to his detriment I think."

The great cricketer believes by now Cummins has actually earned the right to be given the new ball. "Yes, we've got guys like Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc who can also bowl with the new ball," Lee said. "But I think you've got to pick who you believe is the best chance of taking a wicket."

"Worry about your first change when you have them three or four down."

Lee, who started off his own Test career as a first-change behind Glenn McGrath and Damien Fleming on debut, knows it better than anyone else what it is to make that transition. 

"He (Cummins) is a good team man, but you've also got to go 'hang on, if I had a choice I would rather get the new ball'," Lee said.

"If I am Pat Cummins I am saying: 'I want that new ball. I want choice of ends. I've shown what I can do through the Ashes, I've shown what I could do last summer'."

"You can't do that when you're 18. But Pat Cummins, it's not his first rodeo ... He's the vice-captain."

The first Test will be played in Brisbane from November 21. 

(Inputs from AAP)


By Kashish Chadha - 10 Nov, 2019

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