Injured Australian Cricket Squad Faces Brisk World Cup Preparations: Cummins

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Injuries and a gruelling pre-tournament fixture list have proved challenging for the Australian cricket team as the World Cup approaches, according to team captain Pat Cummins. Having played a mere four games following the Ashes and recovering from a fractured wrist, Cummins admitted that the side was contending with “sore bodies” and that the team’s preparations had been “a little tougher” as a result.

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis has been hounded by injury, unable to bat or bowl in any warm-up matches. In addition, a single outing of the three matches against India was all he could muster to demonstrate his preparedness for the tournament.

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Fellow all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, currently dealing with an ankle problem, has compared the recent onslaught of 10 one-day international matches in South Africa and India to the physical stress of a football game. Amidst this demanding schedule, dismissing the strain experienced by the players would be a lapse in judgement.

Speaking after the final warm-up victory over Pakistan, Maxwell said, “I think the South African tour was quite busy, hectic. One-day cricket is a tough format. The volume of running we do in a one-day game is comparable to a football match, and we’re playing three of these in less than a week. That takes a toll on your body.”

Maxwell, complemented by fast bowler Mitchell Starc, have recently made their way back into international cricket. Despite the less-than-perfect lead up to the World Cup, Cummins insists that the goal remains the same – securing a sixth World Cup victory for Australia.

“Even though there have been some injuries that complicated matters, the positive side has been the number of games we’ve played in South Africa, against India, and in the warm-ups,” Cummins remarked. “Our players, like Maxwell and Starc, have returned in time and are ready to compete. The team is in a good position and we’re happy about that.”

The odds can be tipped in the host’s favour during World Cup tournaments, as witnessed in the previous three games where hosts triumphed, including Australia in 2015. However, Maxwell believes that Australia’s familiarity with India from their Indian Premier League stints could mitigate the usual home advantage.

“Most of our team members have spent a significant amount of time in India and have built a familiarity with the cultural nuances and challenges of being a tourist here. Our extensive exposure to these conditions could increase the odds of success for any team, making for an exciting world cup,” Maxwell noted, adding that the objective was always to “play your best cricket on the day”, regardless of how unfamiliar or daunting the foreign terrain may seem.