Cummins: Australia need to find their MS Dhoni in T20s

By Liam Blackburn 5 September 2020 3
Cummins: Australia need to find their MS Dhoni in T20s

Pat Cummins admitted Australia are seeking to identify an MS Dhoni-style finisher in their batting line-up ahead of next year's T20 World Cup.

A batting collapse meant the tourists suffered a two-run loss to England in their opening T20 in Southampton on Friday, with Marcus Stoinis unable to get his team over the line as he finished unbeaten on 23 off 18 balls.

David Warner and Aaron Finch shared a 98-run opening partnership but Australia were left to rue a meek middle-order display, with Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey and Ashton Agar providing a combined six runs from slots four, six and seven.

Cummins conceded that is an area of concern for Australia as players such as Stoinis, who opens the batting in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars but batted at five on Friday, are unfamiliar with the 'finishing' roles further down the order.

"It's something we've spoken about - for exactly that reason," Australia vice-captain Cummins told reporters.

"They're all the best players when they go back for their domestic comps, and you could argue that middle-order role is one of the hardest in any cricket team.

"That's what we've identified - that we've got to try and give guys a go in that. Someone like MS Dhoni, he was the best in the world at it because he played 300, 400 ODI games.

"You saw during this week, the practice games, we gave a lot of guys a go in that role. We know it's not going to happen overnight. That's been a common theme that the selectors and Finchy have spoken about - we'll identify roles and give them a long run in that.

"I think we've got the right squad, the right players, it's just about trying to get plenty of games into everyone now."

Despite Stoinis' failure to finish the job in the first T20, Cummins suggested he and Carey will continue to bat in the key middle-order slots ahead of the second encounter with England on Sunday.

"I'd say them, plus we've got a few other guys in our squad over here that are identified in that middle order," the fast bowler added.

"More than likely those guys are going to get a long run. We're pretty happy with our combination, it's worked for us the last couple of years in T20 cricket.

"It's just about slotting those guys into those roles consistently."

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Liam Blackburn