Email Commendation from Errol Fernando in Melbourne, 21 June 2023
Bravo, Captain Pat Cummins!
No words of praise are adequate to describe how Captain Pat, in that final hour, turned certain defeat into victory. And he did it with lots and lots of smiles! It was good to hear Cummins, in his post-match interview, acknowledge the crucial support of warrior Nathan Lyon. He also stated that the most important contribution in the match was made by Usman Khawaja. Best of all, he was gracious and modest in victory.
When asked whether this was the ‘Number One’ Test of his whole career he immediately agreed that it was. Obviously he had forgotten the Test match 12 years ago at the Wanderers in Johannesburg when he made his debut as a lad of 18 – the second youngest Australian Test player after Ian Craig. In that match Australia was chasing the highest ever fourth innings total at the Wanderers. Cummins walked in at number 10 and it was his calm batting against Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel that led to victory by 2 wickets. Lyon, at number 11, did not need to bat !
In that match Cummins also took 7 wickets including Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and A.B. de Villiers. I do remember how he set Kallis up and eventually dismissed him with a brute of a delivery. The great Kallis was simply gobsmacked to be dismissed by this unknown pipsqueak ! Obviously, Cummins was Man of the Match and highly praised by Kallis. I also remember that after that match the whole world was talking about Patrick James Cummins! And who is the whole world talking about today? Listening to Parliament this afternoon I was delighted to hear the heartfelt tributes paid to Cummins by Mr Albanese and Mr Dutton. Both of them greatly surprised me by their warmth and eloquence!
There was frustration for Ben Stokes and England (Mike Egerton/PA)
The greatest compliment I could pay to the match itself was that it kept me glued till 4.30am. I did not move and did not blink. It was a relief to watch a bit of Parliament this afternoon and have a bit of a yawn. Pat Cummins did not give me one moment to have a yawn !
Another time. My Friends, we must reflect on some of the details of the match, Lorenz – stuff such as Bazball, etc. Plenty to talk about.
A NOTE from The Editor, Thuppahi:
This evaluation is ERROL FERNANDO at his scholarly best, matching his capacities on the keyboards of piano and organ; while being guided y his cricketing experiences at Trinity and Peradeniya University.