Pat Cummins opens up on 'dream ball' to dismiss Babar Azam

Cummins shed light on his game plan to remove Babar

By Web Desk
December 27, 2023
Pat Cummins - Cricket Australia

Australian skipper Pat Cummins has unveiled the tactics behind his 'dream ball' that led to the dismissal of Pakistan's top-ranked batter, Babar Azam, during day two of the Melbourne Test.

By stumps, Pakistan was in a challenging position at 194-6, trailing Australia by 124 runs. Mohammad Rizwan, holding firm with 29 runs, and Aamer Jamal, unbeaten on two, confronted the daunting task of steadying their team's innings.

During the post-match press conference, Cummins shed light on his game plan to dismiss Babar.

"It's a dream ball – that's what you try and bowl most balls, but it's rare that it comes off. Really happy with that one,” Cummins said.

“That wasn't a deliberate ball to seam in. That's 50-50, whether it's going to seam in or out. I try and create a bit of an angle, and if I don't know what it's doing, hopefully the batter doesn't know either. Swing is a bit more predictable – the batter sees it a bit earlier and the margins are a bit smaller. I try and swing the odd one but it's rare – most of the time, I'm trying to get a bit of seam off the wicket," he added.

Remember, Babar is not having a great year, particularly in red-ball cricket as he has now gone eight innings without scoring a Test fifty in 2023.

It happened for the first time since his debut that Azam failed to bag a single half-century in a calendar year. He will have one more chance to deliver for his side this year.

Pakistan played a total of five Test matches this year, one of which is still underway. Their first red-ball encounter of this year was against New Zealand which ended up in a draw.

Azam was Pakistan’s skipper during that time and he managed to score 24 and 27 across two innings.

In July 2023, Pakistan travelled to Sri Lanka to play a two-match series which they won, but Azam continued to fail with the bat.

He scored 13 and 24 in the first Test, meanwhile, during the second Test, Pakistan only played one innings in which Babar contributed 39 runs.

During the current tour of Australia, Babar, once again, failed to deliver for his side as during the first Test, he amassed 21 and 14 runs.