Patrick Cummins may be the current world No 1 pace bowler in Tests, but is very aware that his IPL deliveries have been coming at too high a price.
Last year, the Australian, affectionately nicknamed ‘Paceman Pat’ by Guerilla Cricket listeners, became the most expensive overseas buy in IPL history after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured his services for 15.5 crore (£1.6m).
But he is acutely aware he wasn’t at his best in 2020’s delayed tournament in the UAE, taking just 12 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 34, a strike rate of 26 and an economy rate edging towards eight an over.
As he told the franchise’s website: “Just because you have gone for more money doesn’t mean the ball suddenly swings more, the wicket is suddenly greener, or the boundaries are bigger.
“Whenever you play professional cricket anywhere, there will be lots of pressure. If you are coming off a good game, there is pressure to do it again; if you are coming off a bad game, there is pressure to perform.
“I guess the auction brings another kind of pressure. You’ve just got to try and manage this.”
There was minor compensation for his paymasters in a better batting contribution than might be expected from someone coming in between No 7 and No 9 but despite averaging 20 with a highest score of 53 not out against eventual winners Mumbai Indians, it was nowhere near enough to help his side to the play-offs.
The expectations might not be quite so onerous this year as South-African all-rounder Chris Morris takes on an extra burden of not only being the costliest player of the 2021 auction but the most expensive player in the history of the league at 16.25 crore. Morris was snapped up by the Rajasthan Royals.
Cummins might, however, consider himself fortunate to have such a good gig as no fewer than 27 prominent Aussie names found themselves unemployed between April and June. Chief amongst them was Aaron Finch, who has played for eight franchises during his 10-year involvement, two of them now defunct.
Marnus Labuschagne was another surprising omission.