pat cummins
Pat Cummins (Getty Images)

Australia speedster Pat Cummins has attained full fitness and is in good rhythm as he gears up for the South Africa ODI series next month and looking forward to resuming his rivalry with Kagiso Rabada.

During the Australia’s infamous tour of South Africa earlier this year, Cummins and Rabada were involved in a close battle to top the bowling charts. In the four-Test series, Rabada finished with 23 wickets just one ahead of Cummins.

Cummins is looking to the battle saying the Proteas’ bowler has set the fast bowling standards in the past couple of years. “You always want to get one up on each other, but really you’re just worried about what you’re doing,” Cummins was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Friday. “He’s set the standard the last couple of years in fast bowling. You always pick up things watching the best do their stuff.”

Cummins has 64 wickets in 39 ODIs to Rabada’s 86 in 54 ODIs. “We’re a similar age, similar bowling styles in that we’re trying to be attacking, bowl fast and aim to take those big wickets,” the 25-year-old said.

Dale Steyn recently marked his ODI comeback with five wickets in two matches against Zimbabwe at home. He will be traveling to Australian shores for the limited-overs series and Cummins has paid rich tributes to the bowling legend.

“If Rabada’s been setting the standard the last couple of years then Steyn was setting the standard for fast bowling half a dozen years before that. He’s someone who always gets themselves in the game, he always the strike weapon, up for every game, he bowls fast, takes big wickets and is so competitive. It’s great to see him back. He’s had a couple of serious injuries but to get himself back and be a star performer again is great for the game. He’s someone you have to turn on the TV and watch when he’s bowling,” Cummins said.

Cummins, who was recovering from a back injury, returned to action in Australia’s domestic one-day competition and more recently was part of a Futures League where he bowled alongside Josh Hazlewood in a four-day fixture for NSW Metro.

“We (he and Hazlewood) bowled five or six different spells and spent a lot of time in the field and felt like we were pretty much up to 100 per cent,” Cummins said. “The body felt great so they were the main things. We got out of it exactly what we wanted. Now I’ve played a few (games) I feel absolutely fine and that’s the best sign your body is ready to start playing some more cricket. My rhythm felt really good and I’m really happy with how it all came together. I bowled a couple of quick overs and feel like I’m totally ready to start getting fully back into everything.”