Cummins strikes, but Australia’s bowlers are at breaking point

The workload of Pat Cummins and the rest of the Australian bowlers is not being helped by batsmen who are not currently doing their jobs

As Australia’s Test team has struggled in the past year, the focus has been on batting. The three players suspended last March were top-four batsmen. The replacements have struggled. Collapses have kept coming. The Sheffield Shield is not exactly a rich seam of alternatives.

What gets less focus is how poor batting affects bowlers. In the Melbourne Test against India this week, Patrick Cummins bowled 34 overs in the first innings across two stinking hot days. When he finally left the field, 25 minutes before the close of play, he padded up as nightwatchman. Where Cummins should have been in an ice-bath with an ice-pack eating an ice-cream sundae, Usman Khawaja asked if he fancied a bat. At which point Cummins should have looked around for an ice-pick.

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