Cummins finds unpredictable ally at MCG

Pat Cummins looks to the heavens. Pic: AP
Pat Cummins looks to the heavens. Pic: AP

CAN he do it?  

Can Pat Cummins, the bloke who has carried Australia at the MCG, help his team avoid an unwanted record that has stood for 27 years?

Australia's one shining light defied an Indian victory with a superb half century on Saturday, which embarrassed his batting teammates, outlasting the taking of another half hour and a second new ball.

But only a monsoon can save Australia now at 8-258 and 141 behind, with Virat Kohli's side needing only two wickets on the final day to secure the Border-Gavaskar trophy and head to Sydney 2-1 up.

It's not the only statistic that sums up the alarming state of Australia's batting crisis in a nutshell.

If Cummins (61no), Nathan Lyon (6no) or Josh Hazlewood fail to reach triple figures - which seems likely - Australia will become the first national side since 1991-92 that haven't celebrated at least one century in a home summer before the New Year's Test.

With the inevitable loss looming early Sunday morning, this is the last vestige to cling to before the Sydney Test.