Australia paceman Pat Cummins has warned England to expect a barrage of bouncers in the Ashes.
Cummins, a player of genuine pace but fragile fitness, intends to channel memories of Mitchell Johnson, whose relentless short-pitched assault fired the Baggy Greens to a 5-0 whitewash in 2013-14.
England travel Down Under looking to defend the urn, which they regained on home turf two years ago, but Cummins has given an early taster of the hostility they will face. The 24-year-old has yet to play Test cricket on home turf but clearly fancies his chances of unsettling the tourists’ batsmen when the series begins in Brisbane on November 23.
“(I) hope you practice your bouncers because we’ll be bowling a lot of them,” was Cummins’ message to England at a press conference in Sydney.
“No one really likes it if you’ve got real pace and real accuracy, especially those kind of guys. They play on slower wickets, not as much bounce, so over here and in South Africa as well, it’s one of our biggest strengths.
“I think trying to make it as different to their home conditions as possible and normal bouncy, fast wickets and short balls are definitely that. Hopefully the wickets have a bit of pace and bounce in them, there’s nothing like getting your adrenaline up and then running in trying to bowl short.”
Cummins, who has been rested from the T20 series against India to prepare for his maiden Ashes, has made no secret that he is looking to recreate the havoc caused by his predecessor in the bowling attack.
“To watch Johno do what he did, (he) kept the whole morale of the side and Australia up against the Poms almost single-handedly,” he said.
“It shows the importance a really quick bowler can have and hopefully one of us three or four guys can do a similar job. I’d love to play that role. I think we’re lucky that there’s a few of us who are all pretty tall and get a bit of bounce and like to bowl with a bit of pace.”
Johnson was also happy to engage in the occasional verbal duel, but that is one area Cummins may not be equipped to follow suit.
“I’m not quite quick-witted enough to come up with too many sledges but hopefully we can show our aggression in other ways,” he added.