Published on: Jul 24, 2023
Australia Test captain Pat Cummins has admitted that it’s a nice feeling to retain the Ashes urn. However, he made it clear that the visitors are fully focused on winning Ashes 2023 by clinching the last Test of the series at the Kennington Oval in London.
Australia retained the Ashes in somewhat lucky fashion as rain washed out the entire Day 5 of the fourth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday, July 23. Before that, a significant period of play was lost on Day 4 as well. The Aussies were firmly on the backfoot in the Test. After managing only 317 runs in their first innings, they allowed England to post 592. They were 214/5 in their second innings when Day 4 ended.
Australia were helped by a Marnus Labuschagne ton on Day 4, but England were still in a great position to push for victory, weather permitting. Luckily for Australia, the weather predictions came true and there was no play at all on the final day. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Cummins said, “Our preference is to come over here and win the Ashes. Not the greatest of circumstances but happy to retain it now.”
The fast bowler asserted that although they have retained the Ashes, it won’t change their mindset to push for a win in the last Test of the series. Cummins said, “What happened today doesn’t really change how we look at the next game. It’s been an amazing group, we all turned up here very motivated. Will be a special week at The Oval.”
The 30-year-old, however, candidly admitted that England were the better side in Manchester and conceded that their tactics didn’t work. Cummins added, “England batted really well, we tried a couple of plans but it didn’t work. We weren’t at our best so we’ll look into that.”
Asserting that his fitness was pretty good, Cummins went on to praise Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh for their second-innings batting contributions, which rescued the Aussies after a batting collapse. He commented, “[I] feel pretty good, having a break leading into this game was good. Probably haven’t bowled a lot of overs, feeling good.
“Marnus was fantastic with Marsh yesterday. He got to show his class out there. We all turned up here to win the series, retaining the Ashes is nice but we’re fully focused on winning it,” the Australian captain concluded.
Australia were in trouble at 108/4 in their second innings before Labuschagne and Marsh (31* off 107) added 103 for the fifth wicket.
–By A Cricket Correspondent