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Cummins' comeback gets Lillee's approval

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/12/2016 Steve Zemek

Pace tearaway Pat Cummins' long-awaited return from injury has received the personal tick of approval from Australian great Dennis Lillee.

Cummins is expected to make his first appearance in Australian colours in 15 months during Sunday's one-day international series opener against New Zealand at the SCG.

Since he burst onto the scene as an 18-year-old on the 2011 tour of South Africa, Cummins was seen as a shining beacon of hope for the national side but has been restricted by a series of injuries.

On the comeback trail from a chronic back problem, the 23-year-old is confident of putting his problems behind him.

"This time I feel really comfortable with the process," Cummins said

"I feel like I've bowled heaps of overs lately. The month between Matador Cup and ODIs has given me a chance to play Futures League games where I've bowled 25 overs in a game. I've played a few grade games.

"It's been a way to come back and find that balance between playing quite a bit of cricket and bowling in the nets."

Part of the reason for Cummins' bullish attitude is seeking out the help of Lillee, who helped transform Mitchell Johnson from an inconsistent toiler to world's most dangerous bowler.

Having been restricted to just one Test and 18 ODI appearances, Cummins sought out Lillee who has in the past been a critic of how young fast bowlers are managed.

He blamed a series of breakdowns within Australia's pace ranks over the last several years on a lack of work and bowlers being unwilling to harden their bodies.

"I feel like this time it's been a really good balance and this time Dennis has certainly been on the same page and he was keen for me to take that little bit of extra time and get more overs into me," Cummins said.

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