The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) cricket committee has already recommended a ban on the usage of saliva on the ball due to the risk of Covid-19 spread. In such a scenario, the 27-year-old Australian quick has urged the game’s custodians to allow the usage of alternatives to help bowlers retain the shine on the cherry.
“Ya, it obviously effects, especially in Test cricket trying to shine up a red ball. It’s so important, it plays a big part of our game. It will be a shame to lose the art of reverse swing. I think we need to protect that quite strongly,” Cummins said while replying to a question from TOI on the Sony Sports official Facebook live chat.
“The main thing is we listen to the medical professionals and the scientists, whatever they say has to go. It’s really important that we get back to playing safely. But if saliva is ruled out, I think we gotta come out with something else, whether it’s wax or any artificial substance or whatever it is, it will be different to get used to it, because shining the ball and swinging it is too important,” added Cummins.
Most recently, Australian sports gear manufacturer Kookaburra had claimed that it had developed a wax applicator which can keep the balls shining without the usage of saliva or sweat. But Cummins feels that the usage of saliva is by far the best option and hoped to return to its usage in the future. “We are used to the use of saliva to shine the ball, any other alternative will be different to get used to.”
With India scheduled to travel Down Under for a five-match Test series later this year, it will be interesting to see how the pacers from either side cope with the new normal, in case the rubber takes place.
Relishing his rivalry with India skipper Virat Kohli, Cummins praised the Delhi batsman saying: “He is a huge batter and one of the best in the world. Every time you bowl against these guys, you want to prove against them and he is always a prized wicket. I wouldn’t say you need to work any harder for any batsman, but you might need to bowl to a certain plan and stick to those plans.
“I certainly enjoyed playing against him in the Tests last year and looking forward to this summer. But yes I would be lying if I say I relish one batter more than another,” he added.
Cummins, the current World No 1 Test bowler, feels the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ranking system is arbitrary, as it changes from tour to tour. “I think it’s a bit arbitrary and changes from tour to tour. When you tour India, your role is a bit different as a fast bowler, than in Australia,” he said.