Only 24 hours after Mitchell Starc had charged into the all-time Australian top 10 wicket takers, it was another day of milestones for the team’s all-conquering pace trio.
Not long after Cummins brought up 150 with a notable victim – departing India captain Virat Kohli – Josh Hazlewood registered his 200th Test wicket en route to a staggering personal return of 5-8, the pair having taken India apart in a devastating first hour on Saturday.
No Australian has got to 150 as fast as Cummins and Lillee in matches played and, for global context, only Waqar Younis (27 Tests), Ian Botham and Dale Steyn (29) have done it in fewer games among pacemen.
Lillee is an elusive figure in a public sense these days, preferring to live the quiet life in Perth rather than follow the commentary circuit like many other former greats.
However, he has remained readily accessible to Australia’s band of fast bowlers as they have emerged over the past decade from talented tyros to the top of the world.
None have been closer to Lillee than Cummins, who drew comparisons to Australia’s pace bowling talisman of the 1970s and early 1980s from the moment he burst onto the Test scene as a raw 18-year-old in South Africa in 2011.
It was Lillee who Cummins turned to as he renovated his bowling action, trading a little speed for sustainability after being plagued by stress fractures of the back and other injury problems in the years following his memorable Test debut.
That remodelling, and the careful approach taken with Cummins focusing on white-ball cricket for several seasons, is now paying off.
The boy from Penrith had to wait until he was 24 before he got a second chance at Test cricket, resuming against India in Ranchi in 2016, and even that was earlier than had been planned, with Cummins called into the squad there only when Starc injured his foot.
Now the top-ranked Test bowler in the world by some margin, Tim Paine’s deputy has certainly made up for all that lost time.
Not only is he one of Australia’s most efficient wicket takers ever, he’s a dangerous one. Having claimed 4-21 as India were bowled out for a record low of 36 in Adelaide, he caused physical pain for the tourists as well, with a blow to the arm forcing tailender Mohammed Shami to retire hurt.
As for keeping pace with Lillee? Cummins said it was “pretty special”.
Chris Barrett is Chief Sports Reporter of The Sydney Morning Herald.