By India Today Sports Desk: Australia captain Pat Cummins wants to win the fifth Test and end the English summer trip on a positive note, having previously won the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India and retained the Ashes urn.
“If we win this one and you look back, it’s been an incredible tour over here really. We’ve played five games, we’ve won three and only lost one. It’s already a fantastic tour. But to go home, winning the urn would be phenomenal. It’s a final thing to tick off the list of titles to win for a few of the guys, who, again, you never know if they’ll get another chance to do it. So, we’ve said the whole time, our aim is to come here and win the Ashes and that’s the opportunity ahead of us,” Cummins told reporters ahead of the fifth Test.
Despite winning the World Test Championship and regaining The Ashes after a rain-delayed final day at Old Trafford in Manchester, Cummins said that he still has a lot to learn as a captain. The Australians were noticeably disorganized in the fourth Test, as England’s offensive style had established a firm grip on the battle. Too many players went across the pitch to the captain and bowlers with their thoughts. Cummins said that the atmosphere wasn’t as tranquil as the team would have hoped.
“Something we speak a lot of as a group, is a calm environment. It’s off the field but on the field as well. Probably wasn’t our best day in terms of that. And that’s my fault. It’s no-one else’s. It’s tough. You’re out there, the wicket’s a flat wicket, the batters are batting well, it’s played at a different pace to pretty much any Test cricket before. You’ve seen similar on the flip side as well with them, having nine fielders out, the whole dynamics is different. It’s good. I love the problem-solving aspect of it. I learned a lot of lessons from the last game.
Cummins dismissed speculations of Steve Smith and David Warner retiring but went on to elaborate. He also did not say whether any of the players would be unavailable for the final Test, only that the XI would be announced on Thursday or on the day of the match. He did, however, concede that Mitchell Starc, who injured his shoulder in the fourth Test, is still far from totally recovered, but he expects him to be ready for the match.
“Yeah, he’s got something going on there. But he’s come out and bowled. We weren’t really sure about it. Yeah, he’s got a history with it right now. At the MCG (when he’d injured his finger), didn’t think he was going to bowl and he came out and his seam position was perfect. Probably helps his bowling. We expect him to be right as well. He didn’t do much today but will give it another look tomorrow.