Marsh One-Day Cup 2021
Cummins backing Blues pups to bite in final
NSW may be without a handful of international stars but their skipper is backing the youngsters to shine
9 April 2021, 03:36 PM AEST
While NSW will be without their IPL big dogs for the Marsh One-Day Cup final against Western Australia, Pat Cummins is backing the Blues' pups to perform in Sunday's decider.
NSW one-day captain Cummins will be streaming the match from the IPL in India, as will state teammates Steve Smith, David Warner, Moises Henriques and Daniel Sams, who all helped the Blues make the 50-over final before departing for the subcontinent last week.
While the absence of those five players, plus leg-spinner Adam Zampa, is a huge blow for the Blues, losing internationals to overseas duties is not a new challenge for NSW.
When the stars are away, the Blues have blooded and backed their youngsters to perform and that investment could pay dividends on Sunday.
Twenty-year-old middle-order batter Oliver Davies made his Blues debut this summer, scoring a rapid 57 in his maiden innings while batting with Smith at North Sydney Oval.
Left-armer Ben Dwarshius has played three of his six List A games this season, taking eight wickets and owning the best bowling figures for the Blues in the Marsh Cup with 4-50.
Quick Liam Hatcher (24) and Matthew Gilkes (21) have also been given a good run by the Blues selectors, and uncapped leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha could make his state debut in the final after he was named in the 14-man squad to face WA.
Couple those exciting young prospects with experienced campaigners like Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott, Daniel Hughes and stand-in captain Kurtis Patterson, it's no wonder Cummins likes the Blues' chances against a star-studded WA side.
"The thing I loved most about all the young guys that came in and played, they all wanted to be match-winners," Cummins told The Unplayable Podcast.
"They all wanted to step up in a side full of guys that had played a lot of international cricket and they were still the ones that wanted to have a real impact on the game.
"I loved that about them.
"The bowling line up, we've still got Lyon, Starc, Hazlewood.
"There's still enough experience going around. Daniel Hughes is in great form opening the batting.
"I think the core of the side has a lot of experience and the young guys are ready there to win their first title."
The final will be the first time Cummins hasn't captained the Blues this summer having been handed the reins this season to get some valuable leadership experience under his belt.
It appears the role suits him, with his team going through the Marsh Cup round-robin stage undefeated while he took eight wickets at 17.62 and averaged 68 with the bat.
Cummins labelled his maiden campaign in charge as "relaxed" given the experienced heads around him, but explained his biggest lesson was the importance of always hunting wickets in the 50-over game.
"I think in one-day cricket, you can move to a defensive mindset quicker knowing when it's a flat wicket you don't have too many options," he said after the Blues beat the Bulls last week to qualify for the final.
"Just being captain and knowing you have to take wickets … being more aware of that (is important)."
While Cummins enjoyed his time in charge, he is currently content being a fast bowler who bats a bit in the national sides.
With Test skipper Tim Paine (36) and limited-overs captain Aaron Finch (34) closer the end of their careers than the beginning, speculation has started to grow about who may succeed them.
Smith has come out and said he would be keen to return to the captaincy after he was banned from possessing a leadership role in Australian cricket for two years for his involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.
But Cummins says he has chatted to Smith about the captaincy and does not expect to see a change at the top anytime soon.
"I think we (Cummins and Smith) might have chatted about it briefly in the past but as 'JL' (head coach Justin Langer) said and we keep saying, there's no captaincy spots available at the moment," Cummins said.
"Painey is doing a great job, Finchy is doing a great job, hopefully they've got lots of games left in them.
"I'm more than happy just running in and bowling at the moment."
2021 Marsh Cup Final
NSW Blues v Western Australia at Bankstown Oval, Sunday April 11, 9.30am AEST
NSW squad: Kurtis Patterson (c), Sean Abbott, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Liam Hatcher, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Mitchell Starc
WA squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Green, Liam Guthrie, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, David Moody, Lance Morris, Josh Philippe, D’Arcy Short, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman
The 2021 Marsh Cup Final will be broadcast LIVE in Australia on Fox Cricket & Kayo Sports and live streamed for free globally on cricket.com.au & the CA Live app. ABC Grandstand's live radio coverage will also be available on cricket.com.au & the CA Live app