Cricket-Hazlewood's run rate comment was a joke, says team mate Cummins

  • Cricket
  • Friday, 14 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 - Final - India v Australia - Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India - November 19, 2023 Australia's Pat Cummins gestures REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reuters) - Australia's Pat Cummins said they never considered going easy on Scotland in their final group match to eliminate England from the Twenty20 World Cup and that comments by Josh Hazlewood suggesting they may bottle up the run rate were made in jest.

Australia have already claimed one of Group B's two slots in the Super Eight stage, while Scotland looked primed to join them courtesy of a superior net run-rate.

That was until Thursday, when England revived their title defence in spectacular fashion.

Bundling out Oman for 47 and needing just 19 balls to finish their chase, Jos Buttler's side delivered a massive boost to their net run-rate, which is now higher than Scotland's.

England are expected to beat Namibia in their final game and draw level on points with Scotland.

Hazlewood had said on Tuesday that Australia would be happy to eliminate England in the group phase to avoid meeting them later in the tournament.

"I was speaking to Joshy, who had a bit of a joke about it the other day, and think it got taken a little bit out of context," Cummins said of Hazlewood's comments.

"We'll go there and just try and play Scotland, who have had a really good tournament so far and will be tough.

"It's (net run rate) something you kind of discuss as one of the quirks of the set-up but in terms of does it change the way we play? Absolutely not.

"I've never stepped into the field without the mindset of trying to take the game on and be aggressive, like the guys have so far."

Australia play Scotland on Saturday at Gros Islet in Saint Lucia.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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