Pat Cummins to miss South Africa ODIs, targets India series

Australian fans will have to wait a little longer to see Pat Cummins back in action as the star bowler is set to miss the upcoming ODI series in South Africa.

Cummins, who suffered a fractured wrist during the final Ashes Test, is targeting his return to the field in the ODIs against India in late September, just ahead of the World Cup.

Although Cummins will travel to South Africa for the latter part of the tour, he is unlikely to participate in the series itself.

The injury, a fracture of his left radius, has put his recovery timeline in question. He expressed optimism about his return, stating, “Another few weeks and I'll be right.”

The injury initially seemed manageable, but its severity became evident over time, leading to the realization that it was a bone fracture rather than a muscular issue.

READ: 2023 ODI World Cup warm-up matches schedule announced

Mitchell Marsh to step in for Pat Cummins?

Despite being named captain for both the South Africa and India series, Cummins' unhealed injury has paved the way for all-rounder Mitchell Marsh to potentially step in as the ODI captain in his absence

Marsh, who was recently appointed as the T20I captain, could now shoulder the responsibility in the ODIs as well. Cummins acknowledged the situation, mentioning that the captaincy for ODIs had been shared around, and Marsh seemed like the logical choice, considering his experience at domestic level in the role.

Cummins' absence in the South Africa ODIs is a strategic move by the Australian team, considering the proximity of the World Cup.

The fracture was expected to require six weeks of rehabilitation, making the South Africa tour a tight deadline for his complete recovery. With the World Cup being a vital tournament, Australia aims to avoid risking Cummins' fitness by allowing him the necessary time to recuperate fully.

The role Cummins plays in the Australian cricket setup cannot be understated. As the leader of the pace attack, his absence during the South Africa ODIs will be felt.

Cummins' ability to generate pace and bounce, coupled with his experience in subcontinental conditions, makes him a crucial asset. His performance in India, where he has taken 20 wickets in 13 ODIs at an average of 30, showcases his adaptability to challenging environments.

Pat Cummins
Photo by Icon sport

Furthermore, Cummins' value extends beyond his bowling prowess. His batting skills, showcased by his ability to hit big sixes and contribute down the order, add an extra dimension to the Australian lineup. He a

lso has immense experience donning a similar role for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. This versatility becomes even more significant on subcontinental wickets where pacers often face challenges.

As Australia gears up for the World Cup, Cummins' recovery remains a priority.

The preliminary squad of 18 includes a mix of pace bowlers and all-rounders, but Cummins' leadership and experience stand out.

His return to the team for the India ODIs would not only bolster the pace attack but also provide the team with better balance and familiar leadership.

In the midst of the ODI series in South Africa and the impending World Cup, Australia's management faces decisions about captaincy rotations and managing players' workloads.

As Pat Cummins targets a return to the field in India, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await his comeback, hopeful that his presence will further strengthen the Australian campaign in the World Cup.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India