Paine hailed Cummins’ decision to opt to field first in the final and then his performance with the ball.
Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine has lauded Pat Cummins for his leadership and decision making in the 2023 ODI World Cup final triumph against India on Sunday.
Cummins would induce a loud cheer around the one lakh plus capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, as he won the toss and opted to field first. But Paine elaborated that Cummins was on the button right from the word go.
“When we won the toss I think Pat Cummins shocked everyone a bit with the call to bowl first,” Paine told SEN Tassie. “Bowling first was the first call. Then when we were bowling, you could see the homework that went into it. The fields we had early to Rohit Sharma, that deep point, slip and Glenn Maxwell at like a fly slip. Then to change that around as soon as they saw the wicket was a bit slower and the ball got older to Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, at times we went with four guys on the off side and no cover. I haven’t seen that in one-day cricket.”
Furthermore, Paine added, “I thought Pat Cummins had one of the great games as the captain and then when he bowled, that’s as good as I have seen him for a while. He hasn’t had his best World Cup, but last night, and we’ve spoken about this a lot, Australia has players who stand up in the big moments because they’ve been there before and Cummins did that not just with his leadership, but with the ball. When he went full speed, he was hitting the wicket hard and I thought he set the tone. His captaincy brilliant, his bowling was outstanding and we were brilliant in the field as well.”
Cummins nabbed a couple of wickets in the first innings, while Australia went on to clinch the final by six wickets.
Travis Head would lead the way with the bat, scoring 137 off 120 deliveries – his second century in an ICC final this year following a WTC Final. Coincidentally, it was Cummins who had emphasized the need of having Head in the lineup despite the southpaw not having started the tournament owing to a thumb injury.