Pat Cummins Should Not Be Playing T20s; Where Is Kane Richardson, Asks Simon Doull
Australia's massive defeat against New Zealand in the opener has put them at a huge disadvantage in terms of net run rate in T20 World Cup.
Following Australia's abysmal loss to New Zealand in their opening ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 (Group 1) game in Sydney on Saturday, former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull has insisted Test skipper and pace bowler Pat Cummins should not be playing T20s in the first place, adding Kane Richardson should have been in Aaron Finch's side for the tournament.
Cummins could hardly make an impact against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground being clobbered for 46 runs in his quota of four overs as the trans-Tasman rivals smashed 200 and then restricted the defending champions to 111 to complete an 89-run rout.
Doull, the former Black Caps right-arm pace bowler who played 32 Tests and 42 ODIs, indicated Cricket Australia (CA) had got their T20 World Cup selection all wrong when he said, Australia "would be concerned" following the massive loss.
The defending champions led by Finch could take just three New Zealand wickets, though they had bowling stalwarts likes Josh Hazlewood, Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa in the line up. Both Starc and Cummins went wicketless.
"I think Australia would be concerned, I'd be concerned with some of the parts of the bowling," Doull said on the Digital Daily in the aftermath of Australia's loss. "I said the other night in the warm-up match, I feel personally that Pat Cummins shouldn't be playing in this T20 side.
"I think (right-arm quick) Kane Richardson should be playing. I feel that he offers them a few variations that they just don't have. It's same-same. It's pace on, pace on, pace on. Starc, (Josh) Hazlewood, Cummins -- they don't have a really good change-up bowler.
"We saw from Tim Southee tonight (Saturday) with some of those change-ups that that certainly played a part from New Zealand's point of view. So I feel that Richardson should be in the side (though) it's a big call though to drop."
Richardson was a squad member in Australia's victorious campaign last year in the UAE, though he did not feature in the playing XI at any stage in the UAE. The side instead stuck to its stalwarts on the bowling side, with Ashton Agar only coming in for one match at the expense of Mitchell Marsh, according to ICC.
Australia's massive defeat has put them at a huge disadvantage in terms of net run rate (NRR), and Doull believes the drubbing is a double loss of sorts, knowing the side could have a huge NRR backlog when the race to the semifinal gets intense.
"That's a drubbing, that is a proper win and it really hurts Australia's net run rate for the future in the tournament, and it just helps New Zealand enormously," he said. "I gave them about an 80/20 chance of winning, or a 20 percent chance basically, but they surprised me."
Doull appreciated New Zealand's performance, saying, "I think sometimes we look too much at poor performances and don't pay enough credit to the opposition. I think Finn Allen took it away from them in that early stanza he stood up, and the one thing about Finn Allen, he doesn't have any of that hangover from last year because he wasn't there, he didn't bat in that game."
Conway by contrast played his part to perfection, finishing with 92 at a strike rate of 158.62, though was facilitated by the aggressiveness of his partner as they took the match by the scruff of the neck.
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"The way Devon plays and the way that Kane Williamson plays is allowed in that case because of Finn Allen as well," Doull said. "He's (Conway) a typical sort of opening batter that just has an array of shots that allows him to be good enough in the T20 format, and that cover drive is as pure as most in the world at the moment. "He anchored that innings beautifully."