Australia v India Tests
The unusual tale of Pat's short finger
Paceman's Test return revives story about how he lost the top of his middle finger when he was a child
17 March 2017, 07:33 PM AEST
The return of Pat Cummins to Test cricket has revived one of the more unusual stories about the fast bowler - the fact that he's missing the top of the middle finger on his right hand.
As Cummins sent down his first over in Test cricket today since his one and only previous Test in 2011, former Australia quick Brett Lee recalled during Star Sports commentary how the speedster had lost the top of the middle finger on his bowling hand.
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Cummins told the story himself in an exclusive interview with cricket.com.au in 2011, shortly before his debut in South Africa.
"I lost the top of my finger when I was about three or four (years old)," a baby-faced Cummins recalled.
"It got slammed in a door and I lost about a centimetre off the top of my finger.
"It doesn't really affect me because (the finger) is about the same length as the other one (index finger)."
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The New South Welshman then added with a smile: "I still get my sister in tears ... (because) she slammed the door on it."
The shortened digit clearly hasn't had any effect on Cummins's ability as a cricketer, even though the middle finger on a paceman’s bowling hand is crucial, particularly when trying to generate out-swing.
Lee even suggested that the shortened finger may actually help the right-armer's bowling.
"(The two fingers) are the exact same length, which may aid the ball coming out of the fingers with a nice seam position," he said.
Cummins was welcomed back to Test cricket with a pearler from Ravindra Jadeja on day two of the third Test, the India spinner clean bowling him for a duck off his second ball.
But he quickly found his rhythm with the ball, bowling with trademark pace to make the first breakthrough in India's first-innings, KL Rahul gloving a searing lifter behind to 'keeper Matthew Wade to hand Cummins his first Test wicket in nearly six years.