Cummins learned it the hard way, as did his fellow Australian bowlers, when the Indian No.3 ground them to the dust courtesy his iron-willed grit and truckloads of patience.
Pujara scored 521 runs at an average of 74, the last time India were in Australia for a Test series and the most striking thing about his performance throughout that series was his patience. Pujara faced more than 1200 balls during that four-match series and Cummins believes that he and his fellow pacers “need to take their medicine” a bit more and try and outlast the Indian No.3 during the upcoming Test series later this year.
“He (Pujara) had a mammoth series for them (in 2018-19). He’s one of those players that’ll take his time, he’s in his own little bubble and he doesn’t get disturbed by too much,” Pat Cummins told cricket.com.au.
He added: “We’ve got to find a way to outlast him if he bats the way he did last time. There wasn’t too much in the pitch so you couldn’t manufacture anything. So I think (we need to) take our medicine a bit more and try and outlast him.
“But we’ll wait and see. Hopefully the wickets are a bit bouncier (and) we’ve got a few more options,” he added.
“We’ll be ready for them this time”- Pat Cummins
Cummins has grown by leaps and bounds post that series against India and according to the 27-year-old No.1 ranked Test bowler in the world, one thing that he has learnt is how brutal Test cricket can be.
“I think each Test I play, I learn a little bit about my own bowling. I’ve probably played 10 or 15 Tests since that series and I feel like with each series I get a little bit better,” Pat Cummins said.
Cummins added: “There were a few lessons; the first lesson I learnt was how brutal Test cricket is. They might bat all of day one and there’s nothing that’ll stop them batting all of day two unless we take wickets, which they did a few times.
Australia will have the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and a rejuvenated Marnus Labuschagne at their disposal when India visits Australia for a four-match Test series, and Pat Cummins reckons that the home side will be better prepared this time around.
“I think we’ll be ready for them this time. Everyone’s a little more experienced this time because obviously we’ve got a couple of class batters back in the side and someone like Marnus (Labuschagne) has played a bit more and done brilliantly. So I feel like we’re in a better position,” Pat Cummins concluded.
India, of-course, scripted history during the 2018-19 tour when they became the first Asian country to win a Test series in Australia, something Virat Kohli’s men will be desperate to repeat if the series goes ahead.