The Pinnacle of Pat – Cummins’ Crescendo in 2023
It was a year that may not have begun as auspiciously as it concluded. With the unfortunate loss of his mother early in the year, Pat Cummins found himself obliged to depart from the ongoing BGT series in India and make his way back to Australia following the first two Tests.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny.”
~ C.S. Lewis
The beauty of time lies in its ever-changing nature. It has the power to heal, transform, and turn everything around, just like it did for Pat Cummins. He guided his team to every possible triumph throughout the year, something perhaps no one, maybe even he himself, would have even thought of.
The WTC final. The away Ashes retention. The ODI World Cup. The Boxing Day Test. The “Fab Four” achievements of Pat Cummins’ 2023.
From representing and leading Australia to the monumental triumph in the realm of Test cricket! Cummins claimed the prized wicket of India’s best batter in the WTC final, Ajinkya Rahane. That marked the inception of an extraordinary year for both Australia and Cummins, characterized by bagging every possible trophy in the preceding year.
To the nail-biter Edgbaston test, where he helped Australia get over the line in the first Ashes Test. But here’s the real surprise: it wasn’t Pat Cummins, the “bowler,” who shone. Sounds astonishing, right? Not if you witnessed his debut Test match when he hit Imran Tahir for a boundary, reminiscent of his similar feat against Ollie Robinson. Long story short, that boy can bat! When he walked to the crease with only seven wickets remaining and 73 runs to win, Pat Cummins, the batter, rose to the occasion and scored an unbeaten 44 runs off just 73 balls, ultimately securing victory.
Despite leading his team to an away Ashes retention, critics raised concerns about his leadership skills and tactics when Australia was ahead 2-0 in the series but couldn’t register an outright win. Should ‘Captain Woke’ (they called him that) be leading Australia to an event as massive as the World Cup?
Well, everyone loves to talk, right? Cricket Australia probably had foreseen the future. They may have known that Pat Cummins was the man who was destined to lead Australia to that prestigious World Cup trophy, too.
And time calls it that they were right on target. Their decision to persist with Cummins did bear fruit. Prior to the final vs. India, he expressed his desire to silence a huge crowd:
“In sport, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent.”
As it turns out, he is a man of his word. A mere utterance from him rendered the stadium of 130,000 people go silent at once when he orchestrated Kohli’s dismissal with a delivery that made him chop the ball onto his own stumps. It felt like someone just wielded a magical wand, effortlessly transforming everything faster than the speed of light. It was just a matter of a blink of an eye – BOOM! There you are!
Crowning the splendid year with an even more gratifying conclusion was the Mullagh Medal, waiting to reach its rightful owner. Delivering a Player of the Match-worthy performance and making all the crucial breakthroughs, he secured his second career 10-wicket match haul, joining the esteemed ranks as the 10th Australian to surpass the milestone of 250 Test scalps.
Being a Pakistan fan, you can just wonder… is there a threshold to relentless winning? It’s just like a ceaseless cycle without interruption where you find yourself in the role of a silent spectator. That is what Australia winning everything feels like. While he may have caused heartbreak and shattered the aspirations of many opposition teams’ fans, individuals like Pat Cummins have not merely seized these victories by chance; they have earned and wholly deserved them. Whether or not the critics will like it, he has etched his name in the pantheon of all-time great Australian legends. At the age of 30, he has attained every possible glory. The year 2023 unfolded as his own, with each accomplishment becoming integral to his legacy. So yeah, as they say, “BUILD THE MAN A STATUE!”
The opinions expressed solely belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Grassroots Cricket.