SCG pitch has ‘massive connection’ with India, says Pat Cummins

The Sydney pitch has a “massive connection” to Indian conditions, Australian skipper Pat Cummins said ahead of the Third Test against South Africa, hoping it will provide his side with ideal preparation for their upcoming red-ball game. series in India.

Australia lead the three-Test series against South Africa 2-0 and a win at SCG will all but seal their final spot at the final of the World Test Championships, to be held at the Oval in June.

Australia has typically struggled in subcontinental conditions and a dry, spinning surface is expected at the SCG bearing in mind the upcoming tour of India in February.

“It’s a huge connection to India,” Cummins told reporters on Tuesday.

“Fast bowling and reverse swing are involved, which we can expect in India. Probably get more spinovers here, our batters are probably going to get more spin here too, so it’s a really good connection.

“Even personally, the captaincy here can be a bit different from the last few test matches,” he added.

Australia are currently sitting pretty top of the WTC points table with 10 wins from 14 Tests. In their final run before the Finals, Cummins and Co. against India, which is second with eight wins.

Australia are looking forward to a WTC final in June before taking on arch rivals England in the Five-Test Ashes campaign.

“It has been a big motivator for us over the past few years. I think playing in London (in) a final against India, let’s say, in a neutral venue, that’s really exciting. Australia had missed out on the WTC final in the inaugural edition to New Zealand after being awarded four points by the ICC for being two overs behind in the 2020 Boxing Day Test.

“It was still a new concept, so even things like overs percentages – it wasn’t talked about as much as maybe what we think of it now,” said the Australian pace spearhead.

“I think we were nine minutes behind at one point (in a recent test) so we made sure we had Travis Head or ‘Smithy’ (Steve Smith, two part-time spin bowlers) as an option and we came back basically within a few overs.

“Having just missed the final of the World Test Championship last cycle, that would always be a big goal. I think we played fantastic, we put ourselves in that position to earn that spot early, which is a huge driver for us.

“It’s always exciting to go to England and play an Ashes series, but adding a World Test Championship final is huge.” The first test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starts on February 9 in Nagpur. The next three tests will be held in Delhi, Dharamsala and Ahmedabad respectively.

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