Cricket: Cummins bids for Ashes role

Fast-bowling prodigy Pat Cummins admits he can't go the distance in an Ashes series, but he still believes he can help spearhead Australia's campaign in England next year.

The injury-burdened Cummins says his body won't be up to playing a full five-test campaign.

But the 19-year-old is determined to return from a back injury in time to convince selectors that they should include him on the tour.

Cummins believes he can work effectively in rotation with fellow youngsters James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc.

Already out for the rest of the summer and the test tour of India starting in late February, Cummins is hoping to have six months of lower-level bowling, including a stint in English leagues cricket, to impress selectors.

Because of the length of the Ashes series, Australia will pick an extended squad, and the NSW paceman is confident he can deliver on a restricted workload.

"I'm sure they'll have a big squad.

"I think I will be bowling for close to six months before the first test, so I'll see how I go ...

"I've got about another five weeks before the fracture closes up. I'll probably have my first bowl in February, but it takes at least two months to build up to 100 per cent.

"Hopefully, I'll play (English leagues cricket) ... and build up."

If Cummins makes the July tour, he won't have played a test since November last year, when he made his only five-day match for Australia.

But in that game, against South Africa in Johannesburg, he showed all the signs of a future star.

On Thursday, Cummins was at ANZ Stadium to promote Australia's T20 international against Sri Lanka on Australia Day.

But he wants to avoid shorter-form cricket for a while to concentrate on his Ashes dream.

"I'd love to be part of the Ashes - that's the ultimate goal. I'm not playing in the IPL this year to try to get back to playing red-ball cricket," he said.

Cummins knows injuries could be part of life for him over the next couple of years as his body develops. But he has ideas on how to best prevent mishaps, including mimicking the world's best, South Africa's Dale Steyn.

"In test cricket, you get the opportunity to change down gears. Someone like Dale Steyn might bowl a 150km/h spell and drop down 10km/h and try to swing them," he said.


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