Pat Cummins feels England have been the “standard” for other sides to follow in white-ball cricket for a number of years ahead of Australia’s ODI series against the dual world champions.
England claimed their first 50-over World Cup crown three years ago and deposed Australia as global T20 champions last Sunday by defeating Pakistan in the MCG final.
Australia’s campaign on home soil ended with an ignominious group stage exit but they can restore some pride, with Pat Cummins taking over as ODI captain for a series that starts at Adelaide on Thursday.
While the wisdom of this series happening so soon after a global event has raised eyebrows, especially among some in the England camp, Cummins is not taking the threat of their Ashes rivals lightly.
“I think it’s a good problem to have if you win the World Cup and you’ve got a shorter break,” said Australia’s Test and ODI skipper with a smile.
“I think they’ve been the standard for the last four or five years, really, in white-ball cricket, especially in ODI cricket. They’ve got some class players that have done well against Australia.
“It’s always a great challenge and it’s a good way to judge where you’re going as a team as well, coming up against the best.
“They’re a class side and they’re riding high. They’ve obviously had a great T20 campaign so they’ll be strong, no doubt, even if they’re a bit tired.”
Australia won the last ODI series between these teams 2-1 in 2020. Glenn Maxwell starred in the decider with a hundred, but the all-rounder misses out this time because of a broken leg in multiple places.
Aaron Finch’s retirement offers Travis Head an opportunity to partner David Warner at the top of the order, but Australia are largely at full strength as they look to draw a line under their T20 World Cup.
“I feel like you’ve always got a point to prove, especially playing here in Australia,” Cummins said. “We always want to win every series we play and probably expect that.
“The core of this squad was part of that T20 side. It’s a different format, but we all feel we probably didn’t play as well as we could have, so here is an opportunity to play against the best.”
Cummins has withdrawn from the 2023 Indian Premier League as he looks towards a bumper 12 months ahead, with Australia having 14 Tests scheduled between November 30 and the end of next July.
Should they qualify for next June’s World Test Championship final then another match will be squeezed into their programme in June, with Cummins also mindful of the World Cup in India next autumn.
“The decision was was pretty easy, there’s so much Aussie cricket on,” added Cummins, fit to lead Australia in this three-match series despite recently being under the weather with a stomach bug.
“I think I counted about 100 days of cricket for Australia in the next 12 months.”