Aussie cricket captain Pat Cummins has stolen some of the thunder from teammate Josh Hazlewood after another stunning display for his side in the first Test against the West Indies in Adelaide. Both fast bowlers claimed special slices of history as the Australians ripped through the Windies batting attack on day one bowling the tourists all out for 188.
Steve Smith failed in his first innings as opener, making just 12 as the home side somewhat limped to stumps at 2-59 on the opening day. Marnus Labuschagne (10) was the other Aussie wicket to fall - with Windies quick Shamar Joseph grabbing both scalps on a brilliant day. Usman Khawaja (30) and the recalled Cameron Green (6) will resume Australia's first innings when play gets underway on Thursday morning - the Aussies trailing by 129 runs.
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Cummins (4-41) and Hazlewood (4-44) starred for the home side with the ball on day one, with the latter sealing a special milestone by claiming his 250th Test wicket. Hazlewood's feat came in just his 67th Test match with only seven other Aussie bowlers managing to achieve that mark in quicker fashion.
The Aussie bowlers to have reached the 250-wicket mark quicker is a who's who list of Test greats including Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Craig McDermott and Cummins himself. In fact, the Aussie skipper claimed his own extraordinary record after another haul of wickets in a fruitful summer of Test cricket.
Cummins' four-wicket haul on day one took his tally to a staggering 23 wickets this summer after a trio of five-wicket hauls in the Melbourne and Sydney Tests against Pakistan. The Aussie skipper's extraordinary average now sits at 11.69, which is the lowest for an Australian in a home Test summer since 1931/32 (minimum 20 wickets).
The stunning form of Cummins has led to many experts likening him to legendary Aussie quick McGrath, with some predicting the skipper will eventually become the nation's greatest ever paceman. Cummins' displays have also largely overshadowed the exploits of Hazlewood, who has been so reliable for Australia over many years.
Hazlewood has taken at least one Test wicket in his past 18 innings - the last time he went without a scalp coming against Pakistan on a 'road' in Rawalpindi in March, 2022. Hazlewood has been a mainstay in the Aussie Test side for years and his metronomic accuracy is often marvelled at but he is so frequently overshadowed by Cummins and even fellow quick Mitchell Starc.
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It's a fact another Aussie Test legend Brett Lee thinks is wildly "unfair" on the 33-year-old quick. “He’s been an incredible bowler for a long period of time now in a lot of formats,” Lee told Fox Sports.
“The great thing for him is that there’s times that he goes under the radar. We speak about the swing and yorkers of Mitchell Starc and the brilliance of Pat Cummins, and because Hazlewood is the human metronome hitting that perfect line and length day-in day-out, he can actually sometimes — which is not fair — go under the radar. But we’ve got to celebrate how good he is.”
Hazlewood and Cummins combined to decimate the Windies batting attack after the Aussie captain won the toss and became just the 10th skipper in 82 Tests at Adelaide Oval to bowl first. Only one of the previous nine won the match.
West Indian novice Kirk McKenzie top-scored with a polished 50 in what was just his second Test but it was only an an innings-high last-wicket stand of 55 runs by debutant No.11 Shamar Joseph (36) and No.10 Kemar Roach (17no) that spared the visitors from complete calamity.
"We thought the wicket was going to do the most this morning," Hazlewood said about the decision to bowl first. "A lot of people play Shield games here with the red ball and think it gets flatter as the game goes on so the best time to probably take 10 wickets is straight up, if we get it right. To get 10 (wickets) today backed up that decision."
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