Pat Cummins has flown home to Australia in the wake of the Aussies' humiliating loss in the second Test against India due to a serious family illness. News emerged on Monday afternoon that Cummins was flying home from India due to a personal issue.
It later came to light that Cummins was dealing with an illness in the family. There are 10 days between the second and third Tests (which begins on March 1), and Cummins is expected to be back in time for the next match in Indore.
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The Aussie captain will reportedly spend a couple of days in Sydney with his wife and family before heading back to the subcontinent, with Australia trailing 2-0 in the series and no chance of winning the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The entire Aussie squad has been given two days off following their loss by six wickets in the second Test in Delhi.
The Aussies were right in the game when the third day's play began on Sunday, but suffered a shocking collapse of 9-48 to be all out for 113. India then chased down the 114 runs required for the loss of just four wickets.
Cummins has come under heavy fire in the wake of the loss, with his dismissal in the midst of Australia's collapse copping backlash from fans and commentators. Coming to the crease with his side at 6-95 after the loss of Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb in the space of 20 minutes, Cummins played a wild slog across the line and was bowled by Rabi Jadeja first ball.
"I'm probably as much to blame as anyone else there," Cummins said in his post-match press conference. "Two big things we talk about is the tempo of the game and the method.
"Maybe at times a little bit too high tempo. I'd rather be high tempo than low tempo though, if those wickets are being difficult, but maybe the method went a little bit away from what we planned to do at times."
Cummins admitted Australia's plan to sweep India's spinners backfired, with six of the 10 dismissals on Sunday coming via the sweep shot. “Disappointed, we were ahead of the game but we slipped,” he said.
“Everyone controls their own game, some balls just have your name. But I think there will be a review. Shot choice, did we go about it the right way?”
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Speaking on Monday, former captain Michael Clarke was also critical of Cummins' tactics in the field when India were chasing 114 for victory. “I’m not sure what happened with our tactics,” Clarke said on Sky Sports radio. “We had just 100 runs on the board.
“At one stage, Patty Cummins had four blokes on the boundary. There’s two-and-a-half days left in the Test match. You’re either bowling India out for under a hundred or you’re losing: one or the other.
“If you lose in 20 overs, or you lose in two days, it’s irrelevant. So fielders get up, bat-pad off side, bat-pad leg side. If the ball turns, if the ball bounces, if the ball shoots along the ground, if you make an error in judgment, you are getting out.
“That’s what Australia had to do with the ball. I know it’s only a tiny run lead, but we had to still try and win the game, and we had mid-off back, mid-on back, deep point, deep square leg. What was I watching?”
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