Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, has expressed his views on the ICC World Cup 2023, describing it as the “most physically taxing” format for fast bowlers, as batsmen set new records throughout the tournament.
In just six out of 45 days, the 2023 World Cup has witnessed remarkable achievements, with South Africa notching up the highest-ever World Cup total of 428 against Sri Lanka in New Delhi. The match produced a tournament record of 754 runs, with Aiden Markram smashing the fastest World Cup century in just 49 balls. Furthermore, Pakistan successfully chased down a record target of 345 to beat Sri Lanka.
Adding to the challenges for bowlers, an impressive ten centuries have been scored in the first eight games of the tournament.
Cummins remarked, “It’s actually quite a physical format, especially if you’re playing two or three games in a week. We’re covering about 15 kilometers in a 50-over match. In T20, one brilliant over can be match-winning, but in one-day cricket, it’s not usually the case. And the conditions rarely favor the bowlers, which is a challenge we have to tackle.”
Sri Lankan bowlers, Kasun Rajitha and Matheesha Pathirana, have been emblematic of this challenge, conceding a significant number of runs in recent games.
Australia, a five-time World Cup champion, encountered an unexpected six-wicket loss to India in their ICC World Cup 2023 opener, in a relatively low-scoring match at Chennai. Cummins, who went wicketless in that game, emphasized his contentment with his ODI cricket form, with 126 wickets at an average of just over 28.
Cummins said, “I feel like it’s in as good a place as it ever has been. I always found one-day cricket to present a different kind of challenge compared to the other formats.”
Looking ahead to their match against South Africa, Cummins acknowledged the similarity between the two teams, remarking, “It always feels like a clash of two very similar teams.”
South Africa, coming off a recent series win against Australia, showcased their strength with three centurions in their ICC World Cup 2023 opener.
Cummins also confirmed that allrounder Marcus Stoinis, who missed the first match due to a hamstring injury, is now fit and available for the upcoming games.
Australia will, however, continue to be without opener Travis Head, who is recovering from a hand injury.