The West

Cummins wants Ashes cameo
Pat Cummins during his only Test match so far, against South Africa in Johannesburg 13 months ago. Pic: Getty Images

Pat Cummins admits he can’t go the distance of an Ashes series, but he believes he can help spearhead Australia’s 2013 campaign in England.

The injury-burdened paceman admits his body won’t be up to playing a full five-Test campaign.

However, the 19-year-old is determined to return from a back injury in time to convince selectors to include him on the tour and have him contribute as part of an explosive fast bowling squad.

Cummins believes he can work effectively in rotation with fellow youngsters James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc. Already out for the rest of the summer and the Test tour of India starting in late February, Cummins is hoping to have six months of lower-level bowling, including a stint in English leagues cricket, to impress selectors.

Given the length of the Ashes, Australia will pick an extended squad and the NSW paceman is confident he can deliver on a restricted workload.

“I think even Sids (Peter Siddle) would struggle to get through five on the trot, so it’s pretty demanding,” Cummins said.

“I’m sure they’ll have a big squad. I think I will be bowling for close to six months before the first Test so I’ll see how I go, but I’d say (fitness-wise) I’ll be thereabouts.

“I’ve got about another five weeks before the fracture closes up. I’ll probably have my first bowl in February, but it takes at least two months to build up to 100 per cent.

“Hopefully, I’ll play (English leagues cricket) and build up. I’d love to be right for the Ashes.”

If Cummins makes the July tour, he won’t have played a Test since his debut in November 2011.

However in that one appearance — against South Africa in Johannesburg — he showed all the signs of a future star.

Yesterday, Cummins was at ANZ Stadium to promote Australia’s T20 international against Sri Lanka on Australia Day.

The irony is he personally wants to do away with shorter-form cricket for the time being to concentrate on his Ashes dream.

“I’d love to be part of the Ashes — that’s the ultimate goal. I’m not playing in the Indian Premier League this year to try and get back to playing red-ball cricket,” he said.

Cummins concedes injuries could hamper him over the next couple of years as his body develops. But he has ideas on how to best prevent mishaps, including mimicking South Africa’s Dale Steyn.

“In Test cricket, you get the opportunity to change down gears. Someone like Dale Steyn might bowl a 150km/h spell and drop down an extra 10km/h and try and swing them,” he said.

“It’s something you don’t get to do in other formats.”

The West Australian

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