Cummins joins rare air with quick 200

December 02, 2022 08:07 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Pat Cummins can lay claim to being one of Australia's finest ever bowlers after reaching 200 Test wickets and putting himself among the game's greatest names. 

Playing in his 44th Test, Australia's captain brought up the milestone in quintessential Cummins fashion when he took the top of Kraigg Brathwaite's off stump on Friday.

It was the kind of ball Cummins has become renowned for in recent years, knocking over top-class opposition batsmen with deliveries that angle in and then straighten past the outside edge.

In doing so, Cummins became the second-fastest Australian quick to the milestone behind Dennis Lillee (38 Tests), but his record stems well beyond that.

The right-armer's return of 3-34 means his average of 21.50 is now the best of any Australian bowler with 200 or more wickets to their name, as is his strike-rate of one wicket every 47.1 balls.

In Test cricket's long history, only English great Fred Trueman and West Indies legend Malcolm Marshall have taken 200 wickets at a strike-rate of better than 50 and average of less than 22.

Cummins' record comes after he spent parts of this week defending his right to an opinion on things outside of cricket.

Everything from his desire to not appear in Alinta Energy ads to Australia's decision to take a knee in support of ending racism have come under the spotlight.

Then there was the Justin Langer issue, with Cricket Australia coming out in support of their captain after the former coach bemoaned a lack of direct feedback.

But regardless of how much Cummins has divided opinions of late, no one can deny he is one of the world's best bowlers.

Ranked No.1 in the world since the 2019 Ashes, Cummins' grip on the top spot is the longest of any Australian since Clarrie Grimmett way back in the 1930s on historical ICC data.

Injuries robbed him of 64 Tests when he should have been at his quickest, with Cummins forced to wait five and a half years after his match-winning 6-79 on debut in South Africa for his next Test.

He has since returned a more consistent bowler, relying not so much on express pace but incredible consistency and ability to move the ball just enough.

BOWLERS WITH 200 TEST WICKETS AT AN AVERAGE OF 25 OR LOWER AND STRIKE-RATE OF 50 OR BETTER:

Malcolm Marshall (WI) - wickets: 376, average: 20.94, strike-rate: 46.7

Pat Cummins (AUS) - wickets: 202, average: 21.50, strike-rate: 47.1

Fred Trueman (ENG) - wickets: 307, average: 21.57, strike-rate: 49.4

Kagiso Rabada (RSA) - wickets: 257, average: 22.46, strike-rate: 40.2

Allan Donald (RSA) - wickets: 330, average: 22.25, strike-rate: 47.0

Dale Steyn (RSA) - wickets: 439, average: 22.95, strike-rate: 42.3

Waqar Younis (PAK) - wickets: 373, average: 23.56, strike-rate: 43.4.


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