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Pat Cummins proved why he is the best Test fast bowler in the world, while Josh Hazlewood wasn’t far behind in a superb display from the pace duo to turn the first Test on its head.
Cummins shone after being promoted to opening bowler to decimate the top order and finish with figures of 4-21 in his 10.2 overs.
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Aussies take 5 for 4!
The man he replaced, Hazlewood, seemed to take his demotion personally as he ran through India’s middle and lower order to finish with amazing figures of 5-8 from just five overs.
“I don’t think so no,” Hazlewood replied when asked by Adam Gilchrist on Fox Cricket if he had ever had a more perfect day of bowling.
“Everything went to plan. I think the way Patty (Cummins) started was unbelievable to knock over two big wickets (Pujara and Kohli) set the tone and I just followed suit.”
Hazlewood, who brought up 200 wickets with his five-wicket haul admitted it was difficult to process the enormity of dismissing India for their lowest ever total, but stressed it was the result of Australia sticking to their plans all game.
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Hazlewood SHREDS India
“We’re a little bit stunned I guess,” Hazlewood told reporters.
“A little bit more stunned when we came off from bowling I guess and we had to chase 90, we were pretty confident in that.
“The mood didn’t change too much throughout the whole game to be fair.
“I know we were behind by 50 in the first innings but the was sort of a calmness among us and I think I can probably speak for the bowling group in saying that we thrive on those situations when we are a little bit behind and it’s up to us to change the momentum of the game, and I guess that’s what we did today.”
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The man Hazlewood is likened to in terms of style Glenn McGrath was effusive in his praise for the paceman after he joined the 200 club for Australia.
“Congratulations to Josh Hazlewood on taking 200 Test Wickets. Intelligence combined with pace, bounce, control and consistency. So proud of you mate,” McGrath tweeted.
On a day of milestones Cummins became the equal second fastest Australian to 150 wickets in terms of matches with his four scalps on day three that started the rot for India.
The 27-year-old joins greats Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill in reaching the mark in 31 Tests behind only Clarrie Grimmett who achieved the feat in 24 Tests.
Fastest to 150 Test wickets for Australia (in matches)
24 – Clarrie Grimmett
31 – Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill, Pat Cummins
— Samuel Ferris (@samuelfez) December 19, 2020
However the game certainly played out a little differently to how Cummins thought it would.
“When I woke up this morning I thought we’d have a long day ahead of us,” Cummins said on Grandstand.
“I can’t believe the Test match is over in three. I don’t think I’ve played a day of cricket like that before.”
Hazlewood’s five-wicket haul was achieved while conceding the third fewest runs by an Australian with that many wickets in an innings.
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Only Bert Ironmonger, who took 5-6 in 1932 and Ernie Toshack, who took 5-2 and in 1947 conceded less runs in a five-wicket haul for Australia.
Gilchrist led the chorus of praise for the two members of the Australian fast bowling cartel after their match winning spells.
“The bowling was of the highest quality you could possibly ever expect,” Gilchrist told foxsports.com.au.
Australia dominate first test
“The fifth-lowest Test score ever in Test history, India’s lowest ever. That was just phenomenal what was produced by the Australians to just consistently put the ball in the right area.
“Cricket has its unique way. Anyone who has played will know that on some days, teams just nick them.
“On another day where the pitch isn’t quite as bouncy or pacey or moving around as much, or moving around more – they might play and miss – but it was just an alignment of the stars both for pitch condition and quality of bowling that led to that extraordinary collapse.”