Former India batsman Aakash Chopra opines that Pat Cummins as a bowler won’t be missed at all by the Kolkata Knight Riders of the Australian opts put of the second phase of the IPL 2021.
Recently reports came that Cummins might pull out the remainder of the season, which is going to be held in the UAE in September-October, given the packed international schedule. However, the reports are not confirmed by Cummins or anyone close to him yet, as he has just got out of the quarantine in Sydney.
Nonetheless, Aakash Chopra points out that since the Knight Riders already have Lockie Ferguson in their wings, their combination won’t be affected even if Cummins withdraws.
However, the pacer’s enhanced batting prowess this season – 93 runs at a strike rate of 166.07 – would be a loss for the side, believes Aakash Chopra. Ferguson, who was on the bench this season, was impressive in the 5 games he played in last year.
“KKR already have Lockie Ferguson. And in my opinion, if you have to pick one of them just as a T20 bowler, I will pick Lockie Ferguson ahead of him (Cummins). If Lockie is available and plays, it is absolutely fine. I don’t think they are going to miss Pat Cummins the bowler,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
“His (Cummins’) performance has not been great as a bowler. If we talk about last year, he took just 12 wickets in 14 matches, and that was in the UAE, where the remaining matches will be played. The economy was okay, less than eight. This year also, he took only nine wickets in seven matches, and he was more expensive as well, almost nine runs per over.
“As a batsman, his performance has been decent. It was not that good in the UAE; he did hit a fifty but had an average of twenty. This time he has hit a fifty, but the average is 31, and he has a strike rate of 166,” he explained further
Aakash Chopra names Mark Wood as Cummins’ replacement
The 43-year-old reckons KKR should go after England fast bowler Mark Wood as Cummins’ replacement, if the Aussie actually pulls out.
Aakash Chopra eulogized on Wood’s extra pace and accuracy, which was on display on the T20I series against India – Wood troubled the Indian batters with his high speed and short lengths. However, with the T20 World Cup and the Ashes lined up after the IPL, it is unlikely that Wood will make himself available for selection for the IPL.
“It could be Mark Wood. He is up there in my mind. He bowls very well; last time he had made himself unavailable, but if this time he makes himself available, then Mark Wood will be my option for the Kolkata Knight Riders,” the former opener stated.