Australia call up fast bowler Pat Cummins to replace injured Mitchell Starc

By @saihoops on
Pat Cummins
Cricket - England v Australia - Third Royal London One Day International - Emirates Old Trafford - 8/9/15 Australia's Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing England's Alex Hales (not pictured) Action Images via Reuters / Philip Brown

Australia have called up express fast bowler Pat Cummins to replace the injured Mitchell Starc for the final two Tests of the ongoing Border Gavaskar series against India, per reports. The 23-year-old hasn't played a Test match since his infamous debut against South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in Nov. 2011

Since his debut Test a little over six years ago, the Sydney-based fast bowler has suffered a plethora of injuries and stress fractures that have kept him out of the longer format. Cummins, however, has been a regular fixture in Australia's limited-overs teams over the last few seasons. Earlier reports suggested that the Australian selectors were shielding Cummins from Test selection until next summer's Ashes series at home against archrivals England. However, the abrupt injury suffered by Starc forced selection panel to call-up the young fast bowler ahead of experienced, tried and tested bowlers. 

Cummins, who joined the Australian squad on Saturday, is expected to be slotted into the playing XI for the third Test in Ranchi which gets underway on Mar. 16. Starc was ruled out of the series after picking up a stress fracture in his right foot during the second Test in Bengaluru, which Australia lost by 75 runs. With the series tied at one win apiece, analyst give the edge to the home team. However, Cummins could prove to be the wild card as he tries to seal his Test place for the first time since 2011.

Australia's tour of India: Cummins likely to place Ranchi Test

"In selecting Pat, we were looking for a strike bowling replacement option. Pat has impressed in his return to cricket this summer with consistent performances in his ODI, Twenty20 International and Big Bash matches. He has also had a very good Sheffield Shield return for New South Wales, after six years off, where he made a notable Shield best 4-57 in the first innings, before bettering those figures in the second innings with 4-47 in his man-of-the-match performance," chief selector Trevor Hohns said in a press conference, via ESPNCricinfo

On Saturday, injured fast bowler Peter Siddle cautioned the selectors against selecting Pat Cummins or James Pattinson for the taxing tour of India. "I think they want a bit more genuine pace so it probably comes down to Cummins and Pattinson. They're two blokes who at this stage you were probably hoping you wouldn't have to call upon. It's going to be a tough call. Ideally, I don't want either of them going because I'd like them to play some more cricket, but they're going to take one of them," Siddle told Fox Sports, via cricket.com.au.