Australia’s mission sub-continent starts in Pakistan, says captain Pat Cummins

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Australia captain Pat Cummins said it’s important for the team to do well on their tours to the sub-continent this year, starting with Pakistan, to achieve their mission to retain their World No. 1 Test ranking. Australia are all set to tour Pakistan in March. Following the dominant Ashes victory, Australia are all set to play a 3-Test series in Pakistan from March 4.

Cummins is aware of the vastly different conditions that will be in offer in Pakistan. The two sides will play the first Test in Rawalpindi from March 4 while the 2nd Test gets underway from March 12 in Karachi and the 3rd and final Test in Lahore from March 21.

Australia have been preparing while being in quarantine in Melbourne from where they will fly out to Islamabad later this month.

“The most obvious one is to win the series,” Cummins said.

“But I think that might not necessarily look like two wins and one loss or whatever, it might be having to grind out some tough test matches and hold out for a draw.

“A hard-fought, five-day grinding out for a draw in the context of a three-match series might be as good as a win.”

“We don’t really know what we’re going to expect over there, but sub-continent test matches can be played quickly or can be played slowly.”

Since their 2004 series triumph in India, Australia have won only five of the 28 Tests they played in Asia, three of them coming against Bangladesh. Australia will play Tests in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in 2022.

“For a lot of this group, we haven’t played a lot of cricket overseas so if we want to be number one in the world, we need to have a really good showing on these sub-continent tours, and that starts in Pakistan,” Cummins said.

Patience would be key to achieving that and Cummins said both batsmen and bowlers were ready for the rigour.

“Obviously us bowlers getting ready for the Test matches, we’ve had some really long spells in the nets so we’re used to it.

“But I think it’s that mindset of being okay with ticking along at two runs an over, whereas here you might be used to three or four runs an over,” he added.

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