Ahmedabad: Playing down the chirp around a used pitch being unfolded for the final on Sunday, Australian skipper Pat Cummins said he is all set to meet the best team in the world which "we know, at our best, we can give a big shake."
"We did not score par in that first game but we're one catch away from potentially being in front of that game. We won an ODI series here earlier in the year. There are lots of moments we can draw on where we've had success against a really good Indian side," he added. Cummins called India a well-rounded team in all departments.
"They've got five guys that bowl 10 overs pretty much every match. Their spinners have done well through the middle overs, Kuldeep and Jadeja, so they're going to be a tough proposition like they always are,” he added. His more serious concern is to tackle Mohammed Shami and his searing wicket-taking run in the tournament.
“The one guy who didn't play at the start of the tournament who's done really well is Mohammed Shami. He's a class bowler to right and left-handed batters. He's going to be a big one but again, these are guys we’ve played a lot – so all our batters can draw in moments where they've taken on these bowlers and done well,” he said.
Cummins played down the chatter around the pitch and said, “It looked pretty firm and a pretty good wicket,” and that it will play the same for both the teams. “No doubt, playing on your own wicket in your own country has some advantages, similar to wickets that you've been playing your whole life. The toss isn't as important as, say, a Mumbai Wankhede Stadium or other venues. So, we’ll be ready in terms of anything they'll throw at us. Yeah, we'll wait and see, but we'll make sure we have some plans,” he said.
Much like Indian skipper Rohit Sharma who will be leading a young squad into the Final, Cummins, too, does not feel the need to draw from history in a game that India will be coming hard at him in a Final being touted as a 2003 revenge grind.
“Neither player from either side was there in 2003, so it feels like a long time ago. But there will be 130,000 fans supporting India. India are undefeated in this tournament. But we've played them quite a lot over the last couple years with success so it's all building up for a nice final,” he said.
It’s been a huge year for Australia, packed with four marquee events -- a close World Test Championship final, retaining the Ashes, the World Cup and then a Lanka tour.
“If you have one of those in an off-season, it's a big off-season. We've got four of them. The guys have spent less than a couple of weeks in their own bed since the end of the Aussie summer. One thing that's stayed consistent has been the morale. They're so up for every game they play. So, this one is a career-defining year that a lot of us will look back on in years to come and be pretty proud of,” he said.
It will be an uphill task for Cummins and his boys to shut out the very Indian roar from the stands where 1.32 lakh will be drowning the stadium with concentration-altering decibel levels.
“I think you've got to embrace it. The crowd's obviously going to be very one-sided but it's also in sport there's nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that's the aim for us tomorrow,” Cummins said.
As a fast bowler, Cummins and his fellow quicks have been constantly challenged on Indian wickets where the ball swings for a few overs but after that there's not much swing. “You've got to try and create wickets in other ways. It's not necessarily catches behind the wicket like you might have in Australia. You've got to be brave with some of the balls you use, slower balls, bouncers, you've got to find that balance between mixing it up but also not go chasing too much. We've struck that balance pretty well and at least over here in India a lot of time by the end of the innings, things like cutters work perhaps better than it does elsewhere in the world,” he explained.
Reaching the final without a dominant show is something Cummins will use to tackle a dominant India.
“One pleasing thing is, I still don't feel like we've played the complete game. Maybe against the Netherlands, but outside of that, we haven't. There have been no huge wins. We've had to fight for every win, but we've found a way to win. Different players have stood up at different times. Taking that confidence, knowing that we don't have to be at our absolute best to challenge any team, we can find a way through it. We'll draw a lot of confidence from that going into tomorrow,” he said.