Pat Cummins has left the Indian Premier League with a minor hip injury, but the Test captain appears on track to be able to handle an intense period of cricket over the coming months.
It is understood the Kolkata Knight Riders’ A$1.34m signing, who looked to have recaptured his best T20 form this week, is heading back to Sydney to rest the injury.
Cummins had been managing the niggle through the IPL but, with Kolkata only an outside chance of making the playoffs, he will complete his rehabilitation at home before flying out for ODI and Test legs of next month’s Sri Lanka tour.
Cummins’ recovery is only expected to take a fortnight. It had already been announced he would miss the three T20 Internationals that begin the six-week long tour of Sri Lanka.
As well as leading the Test side, the 29-year-old is a first-choice pick in both limited-overs formats as well and is arguably the most important single Australian player for the hectic upcoming 18 months of cricket.
After the Sri Lanka tour, Australia will defend their T20 crown on home soil at this year’s World Cup before a five-Test home summer, a Test tour of India ad an away Ashes campaign before returning to India for the ODI World Cup in October 2023 .
That’s not to mention a possible maiden appearance in next year’s World Test Championship final, another IPL (where Cummins is sure to remain hot property) and a host of white-ball international series in between.
Cummins, along with other leading Australian players, will unquestionably have to prioritise some series at the expense of others, especially as he continues to adjust to the demands of being Test captain, the role he assumed at the beginning of the home Ashes summer just gone .
The right-armer has admitted he has been short of his best during this year’s IPL and was dropped after going at 12 runs per over during his first four games, with Kolkata preferring Tim Southee.
“I didn’t really think I bowled as well as I could in the first four games,” said Cummins, who turned in his best performance against Mumbai Indians on Monday in snaring 3-22 as KKR played both him and Southee after Umesh Yadav was ruled out with an injury.
“Just a little bit off my mark, so good to get a chance tonight. I felt a little bit better out there. Having someone like Tim Southee as well, an experienced bowler, is always helpful to bowl alongside.”
Cummins had also shown his improvement with the bat in his first game of the tournament last month, smashing six sixes on the way to 56no, reaching the fastest ever T20 half-century by an Australian man off his 14th ball, in a player-of -the match performance.
But the Brendon McCullum-coached Knight Riders now need to win their final two matches of the tournament and hope for other results to go their way to stand a chance of making the finals.
Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka, 2022
T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Matthew Wade
June 7: First T20, Colombo
June 8: Second T20, Colombo
June 11: Third T20, Kandy
ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 14: First ODI, Kandy
June 16: Second ODI, Kandy
June 19: Third ODI, Colombo
June 21: Fourth ODI, Colombo
June 24: Fifth ODI, Colombo
Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 29 – July 3: First Test, Galle
July 8-12: Second Test, Galle
Australia A fixtures
squad: Sean Abbott, Scott Boland, Pete Handscomb, Aaron Hardie, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nic Maddinson, Todd Murphy, Josh Philippe, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, Mark Steketee
June 8: First one day game, Colombo
June 10: Second one day game, Colombo
Jun 14-17: first-class tour match, Hambantota
June 21-24: first-class tour match, Hambantota