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Cricket news - Cummins targets improvement in white ball cricket

Cummins has made rapid strides recently.

Australia pacer, and increasingly pushing his case towards becoming a genuine allrounder, Pat Cummins revealed that he was 'really happy' with how his game is progressing at this stage.

The right-armer has become one of Australia key pacers in the longer format, slowly graduating to the leader of the attack, which also comprises of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. Now, Cummins is slowly building up his profile in the T20Is and ODIs, too. In the first T20I in Vishakapatnam, Cummins's allround skills came to the fore as he helped his team pull off a thrilling three-wicket win off the last ball.

"Honestly, really happy with how my game is going. So many things have fallen into place. Obviously there is a bit of luck as well. I am playing consistent cricket and I am able to concentrate well on my skills and have got a lot of confidence. I haven't played too much white ball cricket and I am looking forward for the challenge. I have got lot to learn, like take wickets in white ball cricket and bowl in the death overs. But yes I couldn't have been more happy on how I have been performing and I have been able to concentrate on my skills and bowl without having to worry about anything else."

His recent superb performances enabled him to win the Allan Border medal, which is awarded to the best performing Australian male cricketer in the previous season. That has also earned him the nickname 'AB' amongst his colleagues. His love for and success in the tough moments, as it was in Vizag when he helped chase down 14 in the final over, have only helped him further his standing in the team.

"You play professional sport, you want to be in the moment where you can win a game. T20 is a great format, it almost feels like every second game or third game you're in a position to either win the game or the game's on the line. Fortunately, so far a few have come off for me.

"I think you hear a lot of the players saying this and I'm no different -- off the field, you're terribly nervous watching people go about their business, but once you're out in the field, you know you're in control, you've done it heaps of times before. That's why you play. Normally I'm more relaxed when I'm out there in the moment than I am off the field. Sometimes when the game feels like it's almost lost, that's when you can feel like you can relax and you've got nothing to lose," Cummins said.

Cummins's growth with the bat has also meant that the talk around a possible promotion in the batting order has grown. Cummins though said he felt batting lower down allows him to bring out his best.

"I'm pretty happy down at No.8 or 9. I feel like my role in the team as a batsman is just to try and survive, bat extra time, and hopefully I've got a batsman at the other end who's set and can really cash in.

"Especially in Test matches, that was my role. I may not have all the big shots like a lot of the batsmen. I've really enjoyed it. Preparing for the game... as a bowler you can't just prepare for bowling. You've got to prepare for everything. That's probably something that's hit home in the last couple of years. You have to make sure you're alright in the field, do all your catching, fielding and for batting just make sure you're 100%. I really enjoy (batting) but I'm really happy at the bottom of the order."

Cummins also weighed in with regards to Australia's preparation for the World Cup. Cummins said that with the likelihood of pitches in England taking more spin later in the tournament, the ODIs in India give the team some vital practice.

"Playing cricket anywhere is a good preparation. In some regards, the conditions are going to be different in the world cup than what will be here. There will be lot of games at the world cup, so at the back of our minds, the wickets might be tired and it could spin like the wickets here in India. As bowlers, if we can take wickets here in the middle overs against a good batting line-up, on wickets which probably are not bowler friendly, it will put us in good shape for the world cup. It is really good practice and challenging yourself against some of the world's best batsmen, seeing how they go about it, what works for us in these conditions, I think it will be really transferable for us in the world cup."

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