If indeed the next Border-Gavaskar Trophy happens on time in Australia, one battle that everyone will look forward to is between Pat Cummins and Virat Kohli. India's best batsmen facing up to the best Australian fast bowler in a mouth-watering contest for supremacy.
Cummins himself is eager to re-test his mettle against the mighty Indian skipper and settle a few scores from the past, not just with Kohli, but the whole Indian batting line-up, including also the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who all made him and his teammates work hard during India's successful last trip down under.
"He (Kohli) is a huge batter and one of the best in the world," Cummins was quoted as saying by TOI. "Every time you bowl against these guys (Indians), you want to prove against them and he is always a prized wicket. I wouldn’t say you need to work any harder for any batsman, but you might need to bowl to a certain plan and stick to those plans."
"I certainly enjoyed playing against him in the Tests last year and looking forward to this summer. But yes I would be lying if I say I relish (bowling to) one batter more than another," he added.
Before that series, however, the major worry for Cummins is how things might turn out post the imminent ban on saliva as a ball-applicator to maintain the shine. Seeing respiratory droplets on the cricket ball as a source of on-field COVID-19 spread, the ICC Cricket Committee has already proposed to discontinue the tradition of applying saliva.
"It obviously effects, especially in Test cricket trying to shine up a red ball. It’s so important, it plays a big part of our game. It will be a shame to lose the art of reverse swing. I think we need to protect that quite strongly," said Cummins.
"The main thing is we listen to the medical professionals and the scientists, whatever they say has to go. It’s really important that we get back to playing safely."
"But if saliva is ruled out, I think we gotta come out with something else, whether it’s wax or any artificial substance or whatever it is, it will be different to get used to it, because shining the ball and swinging it is too important," added the 27-year-old, who has been remarkable in Test cricket since his comeback in 2017.
(Inputs from TOI)