LUCKNOW (Reuters) – Australia are struggling to read the wickets at the World Cup in India and are adapting to the conditions “on the fly”, skipper Pat Cummins said on Sunday as the five-times champions look for their first win of the tournament.
Australia are ninth in the standings after they were beaten by India and South Africa in Chennai and Lucknow, respectively. They next play Sri Lanka in Lucknow on Monday, with the island nation also seeking their first win.
Several Australian players have played in the country and made a name for themselves in the Indian Premier League, a two-month tournament held during the Indian summer.
But Cummins said playing a T20 game was very different from the one-day international format.
“It’s a tricky one, ODI cricket compared to T20s – played over half the game in daylight, half at night,” Cummins told reporters.
“Yeah, (we) find these wickets hard to read as well. Sometimes they look terrible and they play beautifully, and the opposite. Sometimes they look flat and they end up spinning. So it is tough. You’ve just got to adapt on the fly sometimes.”
Australia batted first against India and chased against South Africa, failing to score 200 runs in both matches despite winning the toss on both occasions.
When asked if Australia will stick with one decision going forward when they win the toss, Cummins said they would still have to assess the conditions.
“India is a big country. Chennai is a long way away from say, Delhi up north. So there are big differences, but as I said, it’s not a perfect art, not a perfect science.
“Whatever you do, most games are kind of 50-50, whether you bat first or bowl first… So whatever you do, you’ve got to do it well.”
Australia have lost their last four World Cup games stretching back to the 2019 edition.
When it was put to Cummins that this squad did not look like an Australian team, the fast bowler said: “I still haven’t really quite put my finger on what playing in the Australian way means. And I’ve been playing for a long time.
“No doubt we haven’t been up to the standard that we like to hold. We’ve been off the mark and been outplayed both games.
“We’re obviously 0-2, so we’ve got to start winning and start winning quick. Every game now becomes almost like a final. You’ve got to win just about all of them.”
(Writing by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)