Australia has endured a tough time in the Boxing Day Test against India in Melbourne. The hosts were shot out for 151 in the first innings thanks to a brilliant spell from Jasprit Bumrah, who finished with career best figures of 6/33. India extended their 292-run advantage close to 400 but in the second innings, they were blown away by Pat Cummins, who ran through the Indian middle order on day 3. On the fourth day, Cummins continued his great performance by dismissing Mayank Agarwal for 42 to pick up his third five-wicket haul in his Test career. Agarwal was looking good for a fifty but Cummins bowled a full ball that kept low and cut back in off the seam to knock the off stump back.
However, this was Cummins’ maiden five-wicket haul in Australia. His previous two hauls were in South Africa against the Proteas. However, this five-wicket haul will be considered very special, considering he managed to blast out the Indian top order very cheaply. On day 3, his first victim was Hanuma Vihari (13) as he dismissed him for the second time in the match with a short ball that climbed up on the batsman and he could only manage to fend it off to gully.
The dismissal of Vihari boosted Cummins and he proceeded to deliver a memorable spell to dispel the dark clouds of gloom for Australia. His next victim was Cheteshwar Pujara, who had scored a brilliant century in the first innings. Cummins bowled a full ball and the batsman flicked it straight to the leg gully fielder to fall for 0. His next victim was Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper who scored over 1300 runs in Tests this year. Kohli clipped a delivery on the pads straight to the leg gully fielder again and he fell for 0 for only the second time this year. He missed out on the hat-trick but accounted for Ajinkya Rahane for 1 as the batsman looked to pull a short ball down leg side but instead gloved it to keeper Tim Paine.
After getting the wicket of Agarwal, Cummins managed to account for Ravindra Jadeja with a sharp bouncer as the batsman was surprised by the extra bounce to lob a catch to slip. His haul of 6/27 is his best in his career after India declared for the second time in the match, setting Australia a target of 399.
Cummins burst on to the stage in grand style during the Johannesburg Test of 2011 in which he picked up 6/79 on debut and contributed vital runs with the bat to help Australia secure a famous win. However, injuries in the next couple of years stalled his progress but he made a good comeback in the 2017 series against India in Ranchi, picking up 4/101 on a placid wicket. In the Ashes series against England, Cummins was the leading wicket-taker in the side with 23 scalps from five Tests as Australia reclaimed the Urn by registering a 4-0 series win
In the Johannesburg Test of 2018, Cummins once again showed his class by taking his second five-wicket haul and ending the match with nine wickets as Australia’s miserable tour ended with heavy defeat and their first series loss in South Africa after 48 years.