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Expect barrage of bouncers in Ashes: Cummins warns England

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Sydney [Australia] | October 12, 2017 12:01:13 AM IST
 
Right-arm Australian pacer Pat Cummins, who is all set to play his first Test match on home soil, has warned England batsmen to prepare themselves for the barrage of short-pitched bouncer that awaits them in this summer's Ashes series, which begins next month.

Six years after making his debut against South Africa in Johannesburg, the 24-year-old will finally play a Test on home turf and, for that, he is ready to emulate Mitchell Johnson, whose carnage brought home the urn in 2013-14.

"Just playing a Test match in Australia will be a pretty weird feeling, I've played five now but none at home which is obviously what you grow up watching, so it'll be great to be part of an Ashes series, it'll be pretty amazing. I was over there a couple of years ago in England, running drinks, so the prospect of playing in front of a home crowd, I can't wait," ESPNcricinfo quoted Cummins, as saying.

"That series, one of the most exciting in recent times where fast bowling has really excited world cricket, and as a fast bowler I was super pumped to watch Jono [Johnson] and how he kept the whole morale of the side up at home in Australia against the Poms. That just shows the importance of having a really quick bowler and hopefully one of us three or four guys can do a similar job," Cummins said.

Cummins expressed his desire to be Australia's chief aggressor with the ball in the Ashes, pinpointing Joe Root and Alastair Cook as England's key wickets for him.

"We're lucky there's a few of us who are all pretty tall and get a bit of bounce with a bit of pace. I'd love to play that [intimidation] role, hopefully the wickets have a bit of pace and bounce in them, getting the adrenaline up and running in and trying to bowl quick," he said.

"No one really likes it if you've got real pace and real accuracy. Especially those kinds of guys, they play on slower wickets where there's not as much bounce. So over here and in South Africa as well it's one of our biggest strengths, as batsmen we grow up on these wickets and as bowlers, getting bounce has always been really important. So I think it's trying to make it as different to their home conditions as possible, bouncy fast wickets and short balls are definitely that," Cummins added.

"Joe Root's probably their most in-form batsman so I think he'll be the prize wicket along with Alastair Cook, either of those two will be prime wickets," he added.

While Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are returning after recovering fully from foot and side injuries, Cummins was brought home early from Australia's ongoing limited overs tour of India to prepare for the Ashes.

Cummins is expected to play in two of three Shield matches for New South Wales before joining the Ashes squad in Brisbane ahead of the Tests.

"I think more so having the captain and the selectors' confidence to pick me as the sole fast bowler in a Test match [helped], a year or two ago I thought I was really far away from a Test match, let alone confident in my form and my body to be the only [pace] bowler. I feel like I've played a lot of cricket on the subcontinent this year, so I'm looking forward to playing some Shield games with the red ball and getting used to these conditions again," Cummins explained.

Although England are Ashes holders, they have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under by 0-5.

England will now be desperate to hit the ground running when the two sides meet at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 23. (ANI)

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