Bitter blow for Henriques as finger surgery puts him out for a week
Bowling boost … Pat Cummins is on the way back. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Moises Henriques will be out of action for one week after undergoing surgery on his right index finger on Saturday. Henriques reopened the wound he suffered while practising for the one-day international against Sri Lanka, when the ball slammed into the same spot as he batted for NSW on day three of the Sheffield Shield game against Western Australia on Friday. He was in obvious pain, dropping his bat and needing medical attention on two occasions. He batted on to make 71. However, concerned NSW staff took him to a surgeon on Saturday who performed the procedure because he was concerned about an infection. Although he will definitely miss Wednesday's one-day match against WA at the SCG, Cricket Australia was yet to decide whether he will play in the one-day series against the West Indies.
CUMMINS PADS UP
In a boost for Australia's pace bowling stocks, teen sensation Pat Cummins is due to start hurling his thunderbolts down again. Cummins, who missed his second successive Australian summer because of a stress fracture in his back, will bowl at Cricket Australia's centre of excellence in Brisbane next week. The young gun, who heralded his arrival as an international bowler in 2011, when at just 18 years old he took an eight-wicket haul in his Test debut against the Proteas in South Africa, has worked hard on his game. Apart from doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work where his action has been dissected from every angle, he's also spent hours in the nets … batting. The Penrith player has been fine-tuning his blade work under the guidance of former NSW and Western Australia batsman Mark O'Neill, who is regarded as one of the game's best batting coaches. Perhaps Cummins has taken a leaf out of the great Glenn McGrath's book because when he was sidelined by an injury he worked on his batting and, in the process, went from a bunny to a capable tailender who scored a milestone Test half-century against the Kiwis.
PASCOE WANTS A LEGGIE
Former Test fast bowler Len Pascoe urged Australia's selectors to do something a bit radical - rotation policy not included - and blood young Sydney leg-spinner Adam Zampa on the Ashes tour. ''One of the problems we had against England the last time we played them was we couldn't bowl them out,'' Pascoe said. ''I think we need a proper leg-spinner, and not a part-timer like Warner, to do the job. Michael Clarke can't do it either because he has to focus on his batting and the bowling hurts his back. I think Adam would be a fantastic choice. Adam is the exact clone of Shane Warne, the run-up, the bowling action, the entire lot … Why not blood him?"
WANTED: INSIDE KNOWLEDGE
Former paceman Nathan Bracken said Cricket Australia should consider employing a retired English bowler of Andy Caddick's calibre to assist the Aussie bowling attack with some inside knowledge of local conditions before the Ashes tour starts in July. Bracken said if Cricket Australia's aim was to win back the Ashes it was crucial that it appointed someone with an intimate knowledge of England's wickets. ''Get an Andy Caddick or one of the bowlers who've been successful over there on board,'' said Bracken, whose career was cut short by a knee injury. ''It's something no one in Australia has looked at but it'd be an advantage to get that expert who knows the conditions, knows the wickets and what Australia is coming up against. The big question, I guess, is would you get someone willing to turn on England but, if there was, it is well worth investigating.'' Maybe it would come down to putting someone on a three-year-contract and his job would be to provide feedback and intelligence about what England do throughout their season. ''As a cricketing nation we need to do that, to look outside the box.''