Pat Cummins lost part of his middle finger as a kid when his sister slammed a door on it


Pat Cummins is arguably the best bowler on the planet, and has been in that rarefied air for some time now.

He begun his cricket career as the teenage tearaway with prodigious talent, and has developed into a measured captain with sublime fast-bowling skills.

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But from well before his debut as an 18-year-old in South Africa way back in 2011, and all the way until now as a 30-year-old, Cummins has bowled with a short middle finger on his bowling hand.

He lost about a centimetre off his finger as a child aged about four, when his sister slammed a door on it.

The incident has made the two fingers most central to his bowling action approximately the same length.

While he has spoken about it openly in the past, few know about the minor quirk in the Aussie skipper’s finger, and it caught Pakistan fast-bowling legend Waqar Younis off guard.

Cummins had just beat the bat of Aamer Jamal with a highly skillful outswinger when Younis’s attention was drawn to the finger by Ricky Ponting.

Pat Cummins is one of the world’s best bowlers. Credit: Getty

“That’s great skill again from Cummins,” Ponting said after the delivery to Jamal.

“You can just see the seam angle there, the release of the seam there, that was an attempted outswinger, and he delivered it perfectly.

“It’s the impressive thing about these fast bowlers; any time they start a spell, they are right on the money from the first ball.”

The very next ball, Jamal played a missed once more.

“That’s that outswinger again. You’ll see the seam, it a little bit wobbly, and he never presents a perfect seam, Pat Cummins, but he still gets the ball to swing,” Ponting said.

“(He has) worked on developing a big in-swinger to the right-handers. It won’t be long before we see that ball to Jamal either.”

That’s when the Australian cricket legend, who has a close relationship with his former team’s current skipper, revealed to Younis the little-known detail.

“As a child, he had an accident, and he’s missing a bit of his middle finger on his right hand,” Ponting said.

Pat Cummins’ unique finger. Credit: 7Cricket
He still manages to get swing. Credit: 7Cricket

Younis was stunned: “There are so many different ways the bowlers hold the ball. But it’s amazing how (Cummins), with that middle finger, the way he still gets that back spin on the ball.

“That is really surprising. And he also moves that index finger, he just keeps moving it. I don’t know if that way he feels he gets a good grip on it.

“That’s something really unique, I didn’t know that. Wow.”

Cummins has been at his brutal best in the second Test, leading the way for Australia with five wickets in the first innings, including unplayable balls to dismiss Babar Azam and Hassan Ali.

Of the delivery that removed Babar, one of the premier batters in the world, Cummins said: “It’s a dream ball”.

“That’s what you try and bowl most balls, but it’s rare that it comes off. Really happy with that one,” he added.

“That wasn’t a deliberate ball to seam in. That’s 50-50, whether it’s going to seam in or out.

“I try and create a bit of an angle, and if I don’t know what it’s doing, hopefully the batter doesn’t know either.

Swing is a bit more predictable – the batter sees it a bit earlier and the margins are a bit smaller. I try and swing the odd one but it’s rare – most of the time, I’m trying to get a bit of seam off the wicket.”

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