There have been five centurions over the past week in international cricket. VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid each reached three figures for India during their mammoth first innings total on the flat track at Eden Gardens, while Darren Bravo made 136 in West Indies’ second innings in that match. Hashim Amla was the other man to make a century; his 105 coming in the second Test against Australia.
And it is from that enthralling second Test that this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week comes. Patrick Cummins, on his Test debut no less, took six for 79 in the second innings to give his side a chance of victory and of levelling the two-match series against the hosts South Africa. That followed his economical haul of one for 38 from 15 overs in the first innings and helped him emerge as Australia’s most impressive bowler.
What made his performance even more remarkable was that prior to the match he had played only three previous first-class matches and had the rather ordinary bowling average of 46.33.
By all accounts the 18 year-old from Westmead, a suburb of Sydney, bowled with pace and extracted movement from the Wanderers pitch that the more experienced Peter Siddle couldn’t muster, and looks to have a fine international career ahead of him providing that the curse of many a young fast bowler, that of injury, keeps away.
There will of course be the lure of the many Twenty20 leagues – already several counties are thought to be lining him up for 2012 – across the world to tempt him, especially as he has proved to be so successful in limited-overs cricket, and it will be a test of Cricket Australia’s new management structure to keep him fresh for the rigours of international cricket.
© Cricket World 2011