Patrick Cummins is ready for Test cricket, feel former cricketers

If Patrick Cummins manages to get selected in the Test series against South Africa, he will become the youngest player to don the coveted baggy green in 58 years Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Sydney: Oct 20, 2011

Barely 12 months since he burst onto the domestic cricket scene, Patrick Cummins is now within touching distance of bagging his first baggy green after yet another match winning performance against the Proteas at Centurion, picking up 3-28 on his one-day international debut.

The experts had tipped it would only be a matter of when, not if, the tearaway quick would play for Australia. He now already has made his mark in T20s and ODIs and is now poised to make his Test debut in South Africa.

If he does manage to get selected in the Test series against South Africa, Cummins will become the youngest player to don the coveted baggy green in 58 years, after Ian Craig at 17 years and 239 days against South Africa in 1953.

“For a kid who is only 18, he has an amazing brain on him already,” former Test opener Simon Katich said.

“He can bowl good pace, swing it both ways, he has a lot going for him and we are going to miss him with NSW but wish him all the best – we knew once he hit his straps, he wouldn’t be around (domestic ranks) that much.”

The last of the teenage fast bowler to make his debut for Australia was Craig McDermott, who went on to take more than 200 Test scalps.

McDermott first donned the baggy green for Australia in the 1984 Boxing Day Test against the West Indies at 19 years of age.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he develops in the one-day series in South Africa after bowling well in the T20s,” McDermott said.

“It’ll be up to the selectors who they pick for our Test attack, but when we’ve got three or four blokes who can now bowl 140kph plus, it’s a big plus.”

According to Katich, Cummins physical and mental attributes suggest it s a punt worth taking.

“I don’t think he has to get much bigger. You only need to look at someone like Brett Lee; he was never huge over his career, he was strong but he didn’t have to get that bulky,” Katich said.

“Pat’s the same, he’s quite lean and wiry but he’s still able to bowl at 150kph. He’s obviously got a young body but he’s done a reasonable pre-season with us, so hopefully that’ll hold him in good stead.

“He’s still got a long way to go and no doubt he will admit that, but he’s a quick learner, he’s got a lot of natural skill, and he’s got a good head on his shoulders.

“He’s very mature for his age and he’s a smart lad, so I think he’ll be more than capable when he gets his opportunity, if he keeps learning the way he has.”