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Returning Pat Cummins exceeded expectations, say David Saker lavished

Pat Cummins

Ranchi, March 19 (UITV/IANS) Australia assistant coach David Saker lavished praise on pacer Pat Cummins who scalped four wickets to wreck India's middle order on the third day of the third cricket Test here on Saturday.

Cummins returned best figures of 4/59 taking the wickets of Lokesh Rahul on the second day to follow it up with sending Virat Kohli back to the pavilion early and also getting the scalps of Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Cummins, coming back into the Test set-up after a gap of six years, bowled with speed and kept the Indian batsmen on tenterhooks with his sharp bounce.

"I thought last night he (Cummins) bowled particularly well but today he backed that up and to produce some of the balls he produced to get wickets is pretty exciting. Hats off to the selectors to go with him," Saker said.

"Ball speed in India is a big thing because the wickets don't generate any pace. But he was way higher than the expectations we had. We know what talent he is but it's so pleasing to see him go so well."

On the 23-year old's workload, Saker said he won't be bowling too much from here on as spinners will take over with the 22-yard strip opening up in the last two days offering more turn.

"We didn't have any restrictions on him throughout this Test. It's a really important Test match for us. If he ends up bowling more overs than fist expected then so be it. It's tough cricket over here and because he's bowling so well the captain will want to keep going to him," the 50-year old Saker said.

"I can't see him bowling too many overs tomorrow and maybe if we do have a bowl on the final day, I think it will be more a spinning wicket. He's done a great job so far."

Saker said it will be a good headache for the selectors back home as fast bowlers are all doing well at the same time for Australia.

"It will be a bit of a headache for the selectors when it does happen. It's really good to see. Patty (Cummins) today going really well, Josh (Hazlewood) and Mitchel (Marsh) had a fantastic summer. Then we've got Jimmy (James) Pattinson, the way he's come back in the last few Shield games and he's got another chance in a Shield final, so that's really good for him and good for Australian cricket," he said.

"To be strong in world cricket and especially the Australian team you need a good crop of fast bowlers and we've got that at the moment but we've had a lot of problems getting them on the park.

"There are still other back up bowlers. Jackson Bird is here, he does a fantastic job when he's called upon. Peter Siddle's been outstanding for long periods of time. Chadd Sayers again, probably one of the (most) unlucky fast bowlers in Australian cricket. We've got a good crop so that's exciting for me and the Australian cricket team."