IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders (KR) pace spearhead Pat Cummins is a big fan of Zaheer Khan and Shubman Gill. During an Instagram live ahead of the IPL 2021 campaign, the Australian speedster revealed that former India pacer Zaheer Khan is his favourite Indian bowler while in KKR teammate Shubman Gill, he has found his ‘best mate’ in India. He said he likes the way the Indian opening batsman stays relaxed while taking the game on.
“He’s good, he’s young. He wants to take the game on and is really relaxed. He doesn’t take cricket or life too seriously. So it’s good fun to be with him,” the star Aussie pacer said in the Instagram live arranged and moderated by KKR ahead of their opening IPL 2021 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on Sunday.
The world’s no 1 Test pacer who returned with 12 wickets from 14 games last season and scored an unbeaten half-century, hailed the Shubman Gill as his best friend in KKR. The duo would team up after taking on each other in the Test series in Australia. The 21-year-old batsman was one of the architects of India’s historic Test series win in Australia during his debut Test outing.
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Gill hit an attacking 91 in the second innings of the final Test in Brisbane. While he missed out on his maiden century, it set up India’s epic chase of 328 at the Gabba en route to their 2-1 series win.
“I get along really well with Shubman. It was a great debut for him last summer in Australia. We had some good contests out in the field. I really feel happy for him, he had a great start to his Test career,” Pat Cummins said.
When a fan asked about his favourite Indian pacer, Pat Cummins picked Zaheer Khan, who was also a left-arm pacer like the Australian. Cummins and Zaheer Khan played in IPL 2017 together for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) before the Indian great decided to call it quits. Zaheer Khan is now director of cricket operations in Mumbai Indians.
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“My favourite Indian bowler would be Zaheer Khan. He is my favourite. He always tries different things. That was one quality I always liked in him. We played together once when I was still young,” Cummins said.
However, IPL 2021 will not be easy for Cummins. He was retained by KKR at a hefty price tag of Rs 15.5 crore and that comes with the immense pressure of expectation. In an interview for KKR’s social media channel, Cummins said, “just because you have gone for more money doesn’t mean, the ball suddenly swings more.” Hence, he is not worried about the pressure of expectation and wants to bowl freely.
“I think it gets easier. The longer you play, the easier it gets. I know I will have people around and it will be easier. So, I don’t care much about how it went after returning from the field,” Cummins said.