Cummins needs support from other bowlers - Glenn Maxwell
Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell expressed that fast-bowler Pat Cummins needs support from the rest of the bowling attack if they are to win the series deciding fifth One-Day International against England in Manchester on Sunday.
Cummins has been the best bowler on display in the ongoing ODI series by far, taking 12 wickets from four games at an average of 16.91 with two four wicket hauls.
The Australian bowling attack has been unable to complement Cummins’ exploits with the ball, allowing the opposition to take game away.
While praising Cummins for bowling the perfect lines and lengths throughout the series, Maxwell felt that the rest of the attack was not up to the mark.
"It'd be nice to have two of him (Cummins).
"He's been awesome, a guy bowling 90mph (145kph) consistently for you the whole way through – and he seems to be hitting the lengths we've been talking about.
"I think the rest of our attack is just missing at the moment.”
The main trouble with Australia’s bowling performance this series has been their inability to apply consistent pressure on the opposition batting line up.
Maxwell observed that this inconsistent bowling performance is the reason why the Australian attack was not very effective in this ODI campaign.
"Unfortunately, the partnership bowling we built up during the World Cup and through the last 18 months we haven't really hit that this tournament.
"We seem to have bowled one good over, one sloppy over, one good over, one sloppy over.
"And it's different people at different times, myself included. I've been guilty of that.
"It just doesn't seem like we're getting any momentum with our bowling.”
With injury concerns plaguing the bowling attack, Australia were not able to field their most experienced bowling attack in this series.
Maxwell feels that with only one bowler performing well, the opposition batsmen have the chance to target the rest of the attack.
"Our batting seems to be (effective) – guys are hitting the ball really well and we're finding ways to get good scores – but it just feels like we haven't quite clicked in the partnerships department with our bowling.
"It's all good having a guy that's bowling 90mph and beating the bat regularly and creating chances, but if they can see him out and score off the other guys it's a bit null and void I think.
"We've just got to have some guys backing him up and helping him out, because at the moment it's sort of a one-man show with the bowling, and we're scraping together with the batting."
Debutants like John Hastings, Ashton Agar and Marcus Stoinis were unable to straightaway make a significant contribution with the ball.
Australia’s best bowler on the current tour, Mitchell Starc was also rested for the fourth ODI in Leeds, a game that Australia lost by three wickets.
Maxwell urged the senior members in the side to take the initiative to lead the debutants so that they can perform without pressure.
"We've had a few debutants throughout this series.
“It's been tough trying to replace them (injured players) … but those new guys have also brought a bit of fresh air into the group and also upped the ante at training.
"It's been nice to have those guys around, but the experience you lose you can't really replicate that anywhere, unless these (new) guys get games under their belt.
"It's about the guys that have played 40 -60 games – I think that's the highest for guys in the team at the moment – we've got to try and almost 'fake' that experience, and try and lead those (new) guys and make it easier for them, because it's obviously a tough series to start when you lose those (experienced) guys.
"We've just got to find a way to get through this last game – and hopefully win it."
With all to play for in the final game at Old Trafford on Sunday, Australia will be keen to put a strong performance and end the tour on a high by winning the ODI series.
© Cricket World 2015