Pat Cummins has thrown his support behind embattled captain Tim Paine in the wake of Australia’s devastating Border-Gavaskar series loss to India, while backing the same squad to take on South Africa in the upcoming tour.
As Australia licked their wounds the morning after India’s historic day five series-winning run chase at the Gabba, the nation’s media was ablaze with calls for change – starting with the leadership of Paine.
Called in to steady the ship in the wake of Australia’s infamous ball-tampering saga, the 36-year-old’s tenure showed cracks this summer in a string of questionable tactics and an on-field blow-up at the SCG.
But despite his captaincy being rattled by calls from around the game, Cummins had nothing but praise for the veteran keeper who he backed to lead Australia into the future.
“Tim is fine, he’s been brilliant for us,” Cummins told media on Wednesday.
“The way he batted and kept the series was really good but as a leader he is so impressive. We all love playing under him, he’s a beauty.”
Despite the public stocktaking of Australia’s eleven already well underway, Cummins said he saw no need to tinker with the current 11 for the upcoming tour of South Africa owing to their flawless record last summer.
“We’re backing the guys in,” Cummins said when asked if fresh faces were needed. “It’s a really similar squad to what we had here last summer when we won 5-0.
“Hopefully we keep a really similar group of guys together for South Africa. We know these guys have performed well in Test cricket and those who haven’t played yet, dominate shield cricket. So, we’re really confident we’ve got the right group.”
Ultimately, the bowling spearhead conceded that the hosts failed to stand up in the pivotal moments.
“I thought they outplayed us when it counted unfortunately,” Cummins said. “Tough, long day yesterday, and unfortunately, It didn’t go our way.
“All throughout the series there were days and moments where we didn’t take an opportunity to win the game when we could have.”
Australia’s tour of South Africa is still yet to be locked in due to complications stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.