Sydney: Australian coach Mickey Arthur finds an uncanny similarity between teen sensation Pat Cummins and South African fast bowling star Dale Steyn.
Arthur was the South Africa coach when the Proteas were ranked fifth and sixth in the world in Tests and and ODIs respectively in 2005. Steyn, who was starting his career then, has risen to become the best fast bowler in the world and, on Arthur's watch, South Africa have climbed the rankings to occupy the No.1 spot in each format.
"I'm pretty sure he (Cummins) could be (a pillar to build a team around) down the line. I see a similarity with him and Dale Steyn, when he came into the South African team," Arthur was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.
"The similarities are uncanny except Pat Cummins is a lot younger, which makes it all the more exciting."
Arthur declared his early priorities would include establishing a battery of pacemen and a management plan for Cummins after his wonderful debut in Johannesburg. The 18-year-old claimed 6-79 in the second innings and struck the winning runs in a thrilling finish.
The new coach wants to cultivate a squad of fast bowlers and did not rule out rotating them for Tests, which presumably would also benefit the talented but injury-affected Ryan Harris.
"I do think he (Cumins) needs to be managed … I think it (rotation) is something for the selection panel to discuss and I'm pretty sure (national selector) John Inverarity will have some views on that and I'll be keen to hear what his views are, because ultimately he will lead that discussion. The trend at the moment is that you need a fit and strong squad of players and not a team of players any more with all the cricket there is.," said Arthur, Australia's first overseas-born cricket coach.