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Sport

Kolkata's Cummins finding form at just the right time

(Reuters) - Pat Cummins’ return to form in the India Premier League (IPL) is good news not just for his Kolkata Knight Riders but also for Australia coach Justin Langer ahead of the blockbuster home series against India.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Third One Day International - England v Australia - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester - September 16, 2020 Australia's Pat Cummins REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/Pool

Cummins, the IPL’s most expensive player this season at $2.1 million, had gone wicketless in six of seven games before claiming 3-17 against Delhi Capitals on Oct. 24.

The 27-year-old right-arm quick backed that up on Sunday by taking 4-34 in Kolkata’s 60-run win over Rajasthan Royals, confirming his return to form as the tournament’s playoff race begins to intensify.

“Earlier I put a lot of pressure on myself after that first game when I didn’t bowl well,” said man-of-the-match Cummins.

“The longer the tournament has gone I have bowled better and better.

“The great thing about IPL is there are so many other games on and so many great bowlers on display, so there is a lot to learn from.”

Cummins conceded 19 runs in his first five balls in Dubai before dismissing opener Robin Uthappa with the final delivery of the over.

In his next over, Cummins claimed the wickets of dangerous all-rounder Ben Stokes and former Australia captain Steve Smith to derail Rajasthan’s chase.

“A bit goes through your mind when you go for 19 off the first five balls,” Cummins said.

“I guess the first two balls were not great, but as long as you go back to bowling your best ball it is okay.”

India travel to Australia later this month for six short-form internationals followed by a four-test series.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford

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