Cummins should stay Pat if any doubt for Adelaide after Lyon shows roar power yet again

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If there’s any doubt about Pat Cummins playing in the Second Test next week, he should sit it out.

The Australian team have bigger fish to fry later this summer and next year with South Africa, India and England looming on the horizon so there’s no point risking the skipper if there’s any chance of him aggravating his thigh injury at Adelaide. 

And that’s not to say the West Indies should be discounted – they put up a great fight in Perth and made Australia work hard to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.

Scott Boland is waiting in the wings and a pink-ball day-nighter at Adelaide Oval would suit him to a tee. 

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From the way Cummins was moving in the field in the second innings, just jogging after the ball, did he really need to go on the field and risk it because he didn’t bowl?

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04: Pat Cummins of Australia congradulates Josh Hazlewood of Australia aftrer taking his wicket during day five of the First Test match between Australia and the West Indies at Optus Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

(Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

It’s a big summer and we want him right for first Test against South Africa. He’s saying it’s a one-week injury and the second Test stars on Thursday so there’d be no drama if he sits this one out with the team being one win up in the series.

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The Aussies would probably be looking to rotate the quicks at some stage this summer so it could work out well that he has his rest now and Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood can sit a game out later on. You never want to get an injury but sometimes they are timely. 

Although the win in Perth was expected, the Aussies stuck to their task in a professional manner and even though the Windies’ tail dug in, the home side deserved the big win.

Nathan Lyon was inspirational and passionate as always, he’s into rarefied air now. 

Before him, we hadn’t had an off spinner who’d taken more than 150 wickets and now he’s up to 446, bettered only by a couple of guys who knew a thing or two about bowling in Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

He’s still got a few good years in him – who knows how many more he will get?

Lyon bowled a tick under 65 overs this match and got some big breakthroughs when they were needed, ending up with eight wickets at a venue not renowned for helping spinners.

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I thought he was better when he targeted just outside off stump. He set up Kraigg Brathwaite with a series of deliveries before bowling him. It was a brilliant set-up and execution. 

When it comes to spinners in Australia in the past 15 years since Warnie retired, no one comes close to Lyon for success on some tough pitches for tweakers. 

He’s never turned the ball a great deal but he uses the bounce to his favour, has subtle overspin, uses the angles, comes over the wicket, whatever’s needed to get a batter out. We’re lucky to have him. 

Overall it was a good hard win by the team. The Windies showed real resilience with the bat but their bowling is struggling.

The pitch wasn’t as inconsistent as we thought it would be – the footmarks weren’t significant and I don’t think there was a lot in it for the quicker bowlers.

Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates with teammates.

Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It was just average – not great, not poor – but it’s very hard to make them perfect in Perth because of the uncontrollable factor of the weather.

They thought it was going to be hotter, but it didn’t dry out enough so the sun couldn’t take its effect – every now and again that can happen.

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Optus Stadium does have the characteristics of the old WACA but I’d like to see a bit more on offer for the bowlers in future.

Adelaide will be trickier for the Windies – Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul dug in during both innings in Perth but it’ll move around a bit more in the day-nighter so if they go cheaply, the tourists could be in trouble because there are some serious question marks over their middle order. 

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins of Australia chat.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins of Australia chat. (Photo by Quinn Rooney – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

At least Roston Chase and Alzarri Joseph showed some ticker on day five in Perth with their rearguard partnership. They were really assertive and when they attacked, they hit the ball hard. 

For Australia, the win was another step towards making the World Test Championship final next year in England. 

The top five batters all got plenty of time in the middle, the catching was great – Steve Smith in particular was remarkable with a couple or rippers in slips – and Travis Head was in the wickets again, just like in Sri Lanka.

Having a batter who can chime in with wickets can be very handy, particularly when we go to India in February.

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