Australia captain Patrick James Cummins stands on the brink of guiding Australia to their second global title of the year in the World Cup final against India in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
In the cricketing world, it's uncommon for fast bowlers like Cummins to assume the role of captain due to concerns that the additional responsibilities might hinder their performance on the field. However, Cummins, unexpectedly handed the captaincy just days before the 2021/22 Ashes following Tim Paine's abrupt resignation, led Australia to a convincing 4-0 series win over England.
In June of the same year, Cummins orchestrated Australia's dominant 209-run victory over India in the World Test Championship final at the Oval. Despite not fitting the traditional'macho' image associated with Australian captains, as exemplified by abrasive leaders like Ian Chappell, Allan Border, and Steve Waugh, Cummins has proven his leadership mettle, even amid accusations of conspiring against former coach Justin Langer.
Apart from his cricketing prowess, Cummins' involvement in the 'Cricket for Climate' group sparked speculation that he influenced Cricket Australia to sever ties with energy company Alinta, a claim vehemently denied by both Cummins and his superiors. Some critics have labelled him as "woke," a term Cummins dismisses, stating, "It's a label; it means nothing."
However, Cummins, with his impressive record of 239 wickets in 55 Tests and 139 wickets in 87 one-day internationals, is far from being a pushover. His resilience became evident during an Ashes Test at Lord's when he stood firm on an appeal, leading Australia to victory and retaining the Ashes in a drawn series.
Having faced a six-year wait for a second Test appearance after his debut as an 18-year-old, Cummins understands the value of resilience. Following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, he emerged as a prominent figure, stepping up after Steve Smith lost the captaincy.
Cummins, now just one game away from potentially securing Australia's sixth World Cup title, exhibited composure in critical moments. Despite setbacks in the opening two matches, he led his team to the semi-finals with a flawless performance, emphasising their need to fight for every win. His calm demeanour during a precarious situation against Afghanistan and a nerve-wracking semi-final run-chase against South Africa underscored his leadership qualities.
In Cummins' own words, "There have been no huge wins (at the World Cup). We've had to fight for every win, but we've found a way to win."