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Cautious Cummins back and bowling fast for Australia

Cummins was still a teenager when he exploded onto the test cricket arena with figures of 6-79 to lead Australia to a two-wicket victory over South Africa at Wanderers in November 2011.

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It remains his only test and his match haul of seven wickets is the same number he has picked up in the five one-day internationals he has managed since his debut earlier in 2011.

Cummins has undoubtedly been protected by Cricket Australia, eager he should not burn himself out or put too much of a burden on his still growing body.

“I was pretty tired of getting injuries right at the start of the Australian summer,” he told reporters after taking 1-11 as Australia beat South Africa in the second Twenty20 international on Friday.

“That was the most frustrating thing. I felt like between each injury I’d bowled quite a bit and achieved what I wanted to do to get back in the Australian winter, and then just before each summer it was pretty frustrating.

“But talking to a lot of other guys who have been through the same thing, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, those guys had similar time-frames as me. Knowing how long and injury-free their careers are towards the back-end gave me confidence.”

Cummins’ pace was on full display at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, when he snared that Twenty20 rarity — a maiden over.

“In the past 12 months I haven’t really played that many games,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of time in the nets and it’s totally different to game form. So I think just playing more games I’ve felt a lot better.”

A return to test cricket for next month’s start of the series against India might be too soon, but Cummins still has hopes of breaking into the side for next year’s World Cup.

“I think at the moment I’m just happy to be playing cricket anywhere,” he added. “I just have to wait and see.

“I’m not really looking too far ahead, just hoping to play every game, play really well and see how it is. But I’d love to be in that ODI team for the World Cup.”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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