Instead of playing two months of T20 cricket and becoming jaded for a hard English summer, Australia captain Pat Cummins prefers to remain a little uncooked going into the high-stakes WTC 2023 final versus India.
When questioned on Sunday about whether the majority of the Australian team—except Cameron Green, David Warner, and Marnus Labuschagne—would be a little rusty after having played so little since the India series, the skipper argued to the contrary.
"Breaks are rare to come by. I have always said, with six Test matches (including five in the Ashes), it is better to be slightly underdone than overdone. I am talking from a bowler's point of view. So I want to be physically fresh. Back home, we did a lot of training. We have trained hard, rejuvenated and refreshed and are keen," Cummins said during ICC's 'Afternoon with Test Legends' event at the Oval.
Terming the track as a good one with a lot of bounce, Cummins is confident that his team has enough bowlers to exploit the conditions.
"You need to know your moments to push for wickets. We need to get 20 wickets and there is no point trying everything in the first innings. We have plenty of bowlers to be used at different times," Cummins said.
Australia has a dismal record of only two wins in the last 50 years in Tests at the Oval, and their overall win percentage at the South London ground is a mere 14 percent.
"Our playing group hasn't played too many of those 50 Tests. We have played a few Ashes games, most of us. Few guys have scored runs and bowlers have had some pace and bounce. So it should be good," the skipper said.
After missing the bus the last time, Cummins believed that his team had made significant progress during this round of the WTC. He acknowledged that they hadn't talked about it until they "missed out" on playing in the championship cycle's opening game in 2021.
"That (missing the final) has been the driving force behind the team and we deserve to play the final. I think at home we have been pretty formidable and only (beaten) by Rohit's team (Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane's team) in the last couple of tours... we have been troubled. Everyone is hitting their grooves and some are at the back (end) of (their) careers and at the top of their games," Cummins said.