Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star Pat Cummins is glad that he will no longer have to bowl to Brandon McCullum as the legendary New Zealand player is now included in the coaching staff of the franchise. McCullum blasted an unbeaten 158 in the opening leg of the IPL 12 years ago and has now returned as head coach for Kolkata Knight Riders, while the Australian fast bowler has returned to his old franchise after 2014.
“I am very excited that I don’t have to bowl to him anymore because he was one of the most-feared hitters. It might be the first ball of the match but he might be running at you and hitting you back over your head for a six. I am happy that he is my team as a coach,” Cummins told KKR website.
McCullum heads into the new season on the back of a fantastic stint with Trinbago Knight Riders, who won the Caribbean Premier League.
“He is someone whom I really admired from afar when he was captain of New Zealand and when I came up against him quite a few times in IPL. I love the way he goes about his business. He is fearless, wants to put on a show, wants to take the game on and always wants to take the more positive option.
“When you play against 100 thousand people in India, and at times, you tend to take the option which is safer, I love the way he just forces you to take risks and not worry too much if it doesn’t come off. I am looking forward to working under him.”
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Cummins could relate to the 20-year-old KKR pace, considering his early career was plagued by a series of injuries, including a stress fracture.
“The big one that all the coaches and ex-players who have gone through similar things, is just to be patient. It’s very easy to say, but as an 18-year-old, the missing game is a hard thing to believe. I had to trust that I might have a season or two at the start of my career, but that might mean I can play when 36 or 37 as opposed to when I am 31 or 32, I am injured and broken and bowled all the balls I have.
“Just having trust that everything I was doing was going to set a foundation for a long and healthy career. Make sure you love your cricket, I love going to training and hanging out with my teammates. 90 per cent of the reason why I love cricket is hanging out with my mates,” Cummins said.