Cummins eyes comeback in India ODIs ahead of World Cup

File Photo
File Photo

Melbourne, Aug 15: Australia captain Pat Cummins has given every indication he will be fit for this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup by declaring that his injured wrist is recovering well and he is on track to return prior to the six-week tournament in India.

Cummins fractured his wrist while batting during the final Ashes Test against England at The Oval last month and was initially expected to be out for up to six weeks before Australia's World Cup opener against hosts India on October 8.

"It's not too bad. I'll head over to South Africa at the backend of that leg, but probably more those one-dayers ahead of the World Cup. Another few weeks and I'll be right," ESPNcricinfo quoted Cummins as saying.

"It hurt day one when I did it and hurt a lot when I was batting but didn't think it was too bad. With each day it got a bit sorer, so knew it was probably bone as opposed to muscle," he added.

So far, Australia is the only side to have confirmed their squad for this year's World Cup, with the five-time champions showing their hand early by publishing a preliminary 18-player squad earlier this month. Cummins was named captain of the side and is certain to lead Australia into battle at the World Cup should his wrist injury heal in time.

But Cummins has allayed any fears that he will struggle to prove his fitness ahead of that match, stating that he plans to travel to South Africa next month to join his teammates for their five-match series against the Proteas, before returning to play in the three-game series against India at the end of September.

"I'll head over to South Africa at the back-end of that leg. But we're probably looking more at those one-dayers (against India) ahead of the World Cup. It shouldn't be too bad. Another few weeks and it (his wrist) will be right," Cummins said on Tuesday.

Australia chief selector George Bailey recently indicated that the captaincy might be shared around during the five matches in the absence of Cummins.

Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood, and Alex Carey have all previously captained Australia's 50-over side, while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is also in the race after being selected captain for the T20I leg of the South Africa tour.

Cummins backed Marsh's appointment, believing the in-form 31-year-old is a natural leader who can thrive in the role in the long run if given more captaincy opportunities.

"The good thing is we've got a few options (for South Africa). But (Marsh) is probably the most obvious one if he's doing the T20s as well. He's always been a huge member of the team, a real leader. As a captain, that's what you want, a guy that's going out there, taking the game on, someone we can all get behind. Off the field, he's just a great people person. His energy's infectious, he's great to hang around with, always good fun," Cummins posed.

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