Sun July 1, 2012 12:00am
TEST icon Shane Warne has branded Pat Cummins cricket's brightest young thing despite an exacting one-day initiation against England at Lord's.
Cummins finished with figures of 1/53 from 10 overs in Australia's 15-run series opening loss at headquarters on Friday but statistics don't bother the leg-spin great.
Any teenager who takes seven wickets on Test debut, swings the ball both ways in a flash and gains heady lift will cause excitement.
The hallmark of a champion is always having magic in reserve and Cummins, 19, has it by the bucket load, says Warne.
"He is easing into it. I think he has another gear at 150km/h. He was holding back a bit," observed Warne, who made the unforgiving art of leg-spin appear effortless in taking 708 Test wickets over 145 Tests.
"He has an opportunity to be real superstar. The best thing about him is his awareness and pace."
There's plenty of dumb fast bowlers but those of the strong, intelligent variety are particularly dangerous.
Youth and air speed are an intoxicating mix as England skipper Alastair Cook - with a stellar 1070 one-day runs at 56.31 over the past 12 months - found in succumbing to Cummins when set on 40 at Lord's.
Warne, an avowed fan of Michael Clarke's aggressive and astute tactics, is convinced the Australian skipper is the right man to protect Cummins from burnout while his body is still developing.
"Under Michael Clarke's captaincy he has more of a chance. He won't bowl him flat out. It is not about playing all cricket on offer," said BBC commentator Warne.
"They have James Pattinson to rotate in as well."
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