Cummins in awe of old master Lee
Teenager Pat Cummins may be the raw future of Australian fast bowling, but he admitted he is still in awe of veteran speed king Brett Lee, 16 years his senior.
Nineteen-year-old Cummins bowled the fastest ball — clocked at 93.5mph — of Saturday’s rain-ruined one-day international against Ireland at Stormont.
But both he and Lee, who took two wickets in the first three balls of the match, which stretched to just 10.4 overs, were consistently in the 90s.
The teenager, who will be facing Ireland and England again back home in August at the Under-19 World Cup, admitted it was a privilege to be bowling in tandem with Lee, whose career has spanned his lifetime.
“Brett was the face of fast bowling for a while in Australia. It was hard not to look up to him as a kid. He is everything that a pace bowler growing up wants to be,” said Cummins.
“It’s great to be at the other end, just talking to him and getting tips off him. There’s no better example. It was a ridiculous first over. I haven’t seen the start of a game like that before. I thought I wasn’t going to get a bowl at one stage.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield and Ed Joyce were Lee’s victims but if Alistair Cook and his England team-mates, who face the Australians in a five-match one-day series starting from Friday, were watching they cannot failed to have been impressed.
Neither batsman even put bat on ball as their defences were breached and Porterfield said he didn’t do much wrong.
“I saw it ok. I pushed at a wee bit, it nipped back and was disappointed to miss it,” said Porterfield. He was fired up and ready to go but you have to expect that against someone like Brett.”
Niall O’Brien, who played alongside Lee at Northamptonshire, was equally impressed when he came into to face the fourth ball of the match.
“It’s the first time I have ever come in at No 4 in the first over but I’m not a great one for sitting around, so it was great to get out there and face my former team-mate,” said O’Brien.
“He was fantastic. He’s 35 years old and fit as he’s ever been and from the first ball he was on the money. He’s still a world class bowler and that Australia attack is a pretty handy bowling unit.”
Cummins, who is Australia’s youngest seamer on tour, added that he has England in his sights after missing seven months of action.
Cummins finished his three over spell at Stormont with the wicket of the dangerous Paul Stirling and admitted it was great to hit the ground running.
“It was brilliant to get some play in and to come back (after injury) and play for the country was very special. I had a couple of good months in Brisbane, coming off a lot of training and was confident going into the game,” said the 19-year-old.
“We have one more trial game against Essex (on Tuesday) but all the six pace bowlers have had a hit out, three good training sessions and we feel well prepared for the England series.
“There’s a really good feeling around the group with healthy competition.”