I’m talking of course, of Australia’s teen sensation, Pat Cummins. Obviously, the reference to “zero” may well refer to Australia’s T20 ranking (more on that later) but I am referring to the final over of the second T20 where Cummins featured.
After giving up 37 runs in his four overs, Cummins found himself facing the music in Australia’s final over. Two balls remaining and Australia needed seven runs to avoid falling to below Ireland (that’s I-R-E-L-A-N-D), to tenth place on the ICC T20 ladder. Cummins has already had the distinction of hitting the winning runs in his only Test. Now he faced up to Abdul Razzaq having faced one ball and made one run.
Cool as a cucumber he smashed the ball way over mid-wicket. The umpires consulted on whether to award Cummins eight for such a strike, and end the match then and there but it stood as six. Scores tied. Hero.
The final ball was a juicy full toss on Cummins’ pads. Like a responsible tail- ender, he tried to stroke it carefully into the on side but only succeeded in skying a leading edge to mid-off. It is easy in hindsight but perhaps he should have given it the works. Zero.
Cummins then bowled Australia’s super over. He was defending only 11 and couldn’t do it.
So, Australia finds themselves ranked 10th in the world at T20 cricket. The good news is that they are just one win away from ninth position. If Australia beats Pakistan in the final match of their series, they move back up to ninth, just behind Bangladesh. If they lose, never mind – Zimbabwe is out of reach in the cellar.