Pat Cummins' captaincy called into question after Aussie loss to India at World Cup

The Aussie captain's tactics have raised eyebrows after the crushing loss at the Cricket World Cup.

Pat Cummins, pictured here after Australia's loss to India at the Cricket World Cup.
Pat Cummins has come under fire after Australia's loss to India at the Cricket World Cup. Image: Getty

Cricket fans are questioning whether Pat Cummins missed a trick in Australia's disastrous loss to India at the World Cup, with many believing he relied too heavily on ineffective spinners. Virat Kohli (85) and KL Rahul (97 not out) led India to victory with 8.4 overs to spare and six wickets in hand after Australia only managed 199 while batting first.

Despite the woeful batting display, the Aussies gave themselves a huge sniff when Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc ran through the Indian top order to leave them reeling at 3-2. Starc had Ishan Kishan caught by Cameron Green for a duck in the first over, before Hazlewood got Rohit Sharma lbw and Shreyas Iyer caught by David Warner.

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Kohli and Rahul then took India to 3-20 before Mitch Marsh missed a golden opportunity to get the former. Kohli top-edged a rising ball from Hazlewood up into the air, but Marsh couldn't snaffle the easy chance while running in from square leg.

After three early wickets and a huge chance off Kohli, Australia's pace bowlers appeared to be getting on top. But many felt that Cummins went to his spinners too early in the hope they would extract similar turn and bounce to what India's tweakers did.

India's three spinners bowled a combined 30 overs and returned figures of 6-104, with Australia's batters getting tied down and batting themselves into a hole. Only David Warner and Steve Smith managed to pass 30, before the Aussies were bowled out in the last over of the innings.

With India's spinners getting on top, Australia faced a whopping 174 dot balls in their innings, and went 73 balls between boundaries at one stage. They only hit two boundaries between the 16th and 39th overs, in a period where spin was almost exclusively used.

Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the slower bowlers, taking 3-28. Kuldeep Yadav also bagged 2-42 after taking the crucial wicket of Warner for 41 to halt Australia's momentum. Jadeja then took all three of his wickets in the space of 2.3 overs, as Australia went from 2-110 to 5-119 in little time.

Rohit Sharma and Pat Cummins, pictured here after Australia's loss to India at the Cricket World Cup.
Rohit Sharma and Pat Cummins shake hands after Australia's loss to India at the Cricket World Cup. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images) (ICC via Getty Images)

Australia's spinners fail to fire in World Cup loss to India

Cummins would have been hopeful his spinners could produce something similar, but it went pear-shaped for the captain. Part-timer Glenn Maxwell was bowling by the 10th over and went for 0-33 from his eight overs. Leggie Adam Zampa was also unable to have much impact and went for 0-53 from eight.

The spinners certainly weren't carted around the ground, but with Australia needing wickets to have any hope of victory, many thought Cummins should have stuck with pace. With Ashton Agar a late commission from Australia's squad due to a calf injury, Cummins only has one specialist spinner at his disposal in Zampa. Smith and Warner bowled some of their part-time spin in a warm-up game against Pakistan, but their performances left much to be desired.

"We had them three for none basically with our quick bowlers, so I wasn't too upset (about the lack of spin options)," Cummins said after the game. "We still had 20 overs of spin. I think with another 50 on the board there that bowling innings looks a little bit different." Fans were quick to question why Cummins leant so haevily on his spinners when they never really looked like taking a wicket.

with AAP

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