“Pat Cummins is experiencing some mild right-sided quadriceps soreness,” a CA official said. “He will continue to be monitored by team medical staff and his availability to bowl in the second innings will be assessed on an ongoing basis. Steve Smith will captain the side while Cummins is off the field.”
Cummins returned to the field after 36 overs off, halfway through the last session of day four, with Australia coach Andrew McDonald explaining that he could be available to bowl on the final day.
“Clearly he has to wait his time now, he’ll have to do that on the field until he’s able to bowl again,” McDonald told Fox Cricket. “[He’ll bowl] probably sometime tomorrow. We’ll try to line that up with the second new ball. We’re sort of managing and respecting the fact that he has a quad complaint. Clearly, the game at the moment, his bowling would be valuable out there so we’re going to get him out there and assess him at the end of the day.
“It’s only a minor niggle. We can manage it. Clearly, we’ve got a long summer ahead but this game is most important.”
Australia’s selectors did have a loose plan in place as to how they would manage their fast bowlers across five back-to-back Tests this summer with a massive Test workload ahead in 2023, including tours of India and England.
The resting of some individuals is a possibility. The selectors’ management plan was entirely dependent on how much Australia’s quicks would bowl and the types of surfaces they would bowl on, with only a four-day break between the Perth and Adelaide Tests against West Indies before breaks of just five, four and four days ahead of each of the three Tests against South Africa.
“It’s a short turnaround [to Adelaide] and that’s clearly in our decision-making as well,” McDonald said. “Ideally if Pat doesn’t have to bowl again in this Test match that’s great but at the moment the West Indies are playing really, really well so we’ll be put to a decision early tomorrow.”