Australian captain Pat Cummins is confident of lining up in the second Test against West Indies, despite suffering a quad injury in Perth.
After taking three wickets in the first innings of Australia’s 164-run victory at Optus Stadium, the skipper was limited in the field in the second innings and didn’t take the ball at any stage.
It raised plenty of concerns from supporters and experts, but Cummins allayed fears in his post-match press conference regarding his fitness for the remainder of the summer.
The 29-year-old revealed a ‘minor strain’ kept him out of the attack, but admitted he would have bowled if the game against the Windies got any tighter.
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“It’s just a small strain – they are normally a one-weeker and if you bowl, you can make it worse and make it longer,” he said.
“I’ll spend the next few days rehabbing and getting it right, I think it’s a pretty good chance I’ll be good for Adelaide.
“I felt okay – I was more not trying to run as opposed to being restricted to run. If it [the game] got a bit tighter I was gonna have a bowl, but I’m pretty happy I managed to not bowl and give myself a good chance.
“I don’t really want to turn a one-week injury into a four-week injury and potentially miss the summer. We will weigh all that up, but I felt pretty comfortable out there.
“I’ll give it a few days – it already feels pretty good. The physio might be less optimistic, but I think it will be fine.
“I’ve got five Tests and I want to make sure I’m available for all five.”
Cummins confirmed that if he can’t prove his fitness prior to the second Test at Adelaide Oval, which begins on Thursday, Steve Smith would take over as captain and Scott Boland would come into the side as the third seamer.
Australia piled on the runs across their two innings, with Smith and Marnus Labuschagne both dominating the Windies, before off-spinner Nathan Lyon sealed the victory on the final day with a six-wicket haul.
Cummins believes his side are improving on closing out Test matches on days four and five, paying tribute to Lyon’s ability to bowl the Aussies to victory.
“I think the last few instances…I felt like the whole squad have been really composed,” he said.
“We have jumped in and out of plans when we needed to, but we’ve given them long enough to see if they work or not.
“I feel like we’ve got a really good method – it’s not going to work every time, but I think we are giving ourselves the best chance.
“I think he [Lyon] has got plenty of different tricks now. He’s always had a really good off-spinner, but he moves around the crease and you saw him bowl over the wicket and around the wicket a lot.
“It felt like he could beat them on the outside of the bat, or he could bring bat-pad into play. It feels like he has a few different ways that he can get a batter out and he is happy to chop and change between them – perhaps more than earlier on in his career.
“I think one thing he has always been good at and continues to get better at is he can bowl 25-30 quality overs in the day…there aren’t a heap of bowlers around the world who can do that.”
The second and final Test against West Indies begins on Thursday afternoon in Adelaide.