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Australia's 150kph workhorse primed

Strike weapon Pat Cummins knows his role on Bangladesh pitches, and showed in Darwin he's perfectly suited to the task

Pat Cummins' ability to play the dual role of workhorse and aggressor is set to be a key factor in Australia's bid for a first subcontinental success since 2011 when they arrive in Bangladesh for the upcoming two-Test series.

Cummins looks likely to be one of just two fast bowlers who will line up for Steve Smith's side in Dhaka for the series opener on August 27, alongside Josh Hazlewood, who earlier this week spoke about the need for the pacemen to bowl somewhat defensively on subcontinent wickets and build pressure for the spinners, who he said would more regularly be the wicket-taking weapons.

Quick Single: Report, full highlights from Darwin

But there's attack, and then there's aggression, and on a wicket purposely curated to offer little for the quicks on day two of this intra-squad fixture in Darwin, Cummins showed plenty of the latter during an hour-long spell that served as an excellent fine-tuning for the tearaway ahead of Friday's departure for Bangladesh.

The 24-year-old finished with innings figures of 1-39 from 16 overs, bending the back impressively as he hurried – and at one point struck – Glenn Maxwell during a hostile spell, before returning after lunch to bowl Marcus Stoinis for a duck.

Extended highlights: Aussie intra-squad day two

"It was a really good hit-out," Cummins said. "I've been bowling in the nets for quite a while, but there's nothing like bowling in a game – you get a little sorer, and put in a little bit more effort.

"I was really happy with how a couple of spells went."

Cummins replaced Mitchell Starc for the final two matches of the India series in March, ending six-and-a-half years in the Test wilderness for the western Sydney product who famously debuted with a player-of-the-match performance in South Africa as an 18-year-old in 2011.

A look back at Cummins' Test debut

In a high-scoring draw in the third Test in Ranchi, the right-armer performed superbly, defying the many critics who questioned whether his body would hold up to the rigours of a significant bowling workload.

In the first innings, he got through a mammoth 39 overs, taking 4-106, while he added another four wickets in the final Test across 38 overs.

Cummins' fiery short-ball spell does trick for Aussies

Cummins understands it will likely be more toil in Bangladesh, however he hopes he can occasionally combine the defensive work with his natural instincts.

"In India, a couple of the wickets had a little bit of pace and bounce in them, so we were able to use the bouncer a bit more," he said.

"In Bangladesh … I think our roles will be mainly to tie up the runs, and at times try to intimidate.

"If the ball is swinging, we'll try to get a breakthrough, but normally there are a lot of tough overs on the subcontinent."

Cummins bowled 16 overs for 1-39 on day two // Getty
Cummins bowled 16 overs for 1-39 on day two // Getty

The paceman, who is again set to replace the injured Starc and will be auditioning for an Ashes spot, believes he is well set to tackle the two-Test series in Dhaka and Chittagong and the demanding schedule that follows it, with the finishing touches applied here in Darwin.

"It's pretty similar conditions to Bangladesh I think – they've done a great job here to replicate that," Cummins said of the Marrara Oval pitch.

"It was a little bit slow, but it felt like the ball was reversing, which we're probably going to get over there … then later in the day it looked like it was going to break up and there was a bit more spin, so I think it was a really accurate representation of what we can expect.

Pat Cummins is a fan favourite in Darwin // Getty
Pat Cummins is a fan favourite in Darwin // Getty

"(The body) feels great. I bowled quite a few overs throughout the summer and over in India, which was really pleasing.

"Then I had about four or five weeks off bowling, then about another month building up, so it's been almost the perfect lead-in to a big block of cricket."

Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad (preliminary): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahmudullah Riyad, Liton Kumar Das, Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subhashish Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sanjamul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Al Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Muktar Ali, Tanbir Haider, Saqlain Sajib, Shafiul Islam.


11-17 August Australia pre-tour training camp, Darwin


18 August Australia arrive


22-23 August Tour match, TBC


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong