Pat Cummins wants Australia ‘fired up’ for World Cup clash with rivals England

Three months have passed since the tightly-fought Test series between the sides ended 2-2 at the Kia Oval, with tensions running high over the summer.

Rory Dollard
Friday 03 November 2023 08:05 GMT
Australia captain Pat Cummins wants his team “fired up” against England (Mike Egerton/PA)
Australia captain Pat Cummins wants his team “fired up” against England (Mike Egerton/PA)

Australia captain Pat Cummins has encouraged his side to get “fired up” for the chance to knock Ashes rivals England out of the World Cup.

Three months have passed since the tightly-fought Test series between the sides ended 2-2 at the Kia Oval, with tensions running high over the course of the summer.

A handful of Australian players have since made fun of claims that England won a ‘moral victory’ after being denied a decisive win by the Old Trafford weather. Cummins, meanwhile, could barely suppress laughter when asked to comment on England’s struggles at this tournament.

He adopted a better poker face on the eve of their reunion in Ahmedabad but, with his side marching towards the semi-finals and England one more defeat away from officially crashing out, Cummins is happy to see his players embrace their emotions.

“(The Ashes) was a couple of months ago. It’s done. It’s a new game, new tournament, but I always think a healthy amount of rivalry is good,” he said.

“Especially so for our playing group. We’re quite a chilled, calm group, so sometimes when we get a little bit more fired up, I actually don’t think it’s too bad a thing.

“I mean it’s an old rivalry so yeah, you’re not going to lie, if they beat us I know it’s probably just that little bit sweeter than beating other teams. And the same for us, with their history and how well they’ve done in white-ball cricket. It would be a great win.”

That was as far as Cummins was willing to go in terms of needling the opposition, refusing to be revved up by Joe Root’s suggestion that England boast a better XI despite the teams’ vastly differing fortunes in India.

“I mean yeah, of course he’d say that. We would say the same about our team, so I wouldn’t read too much into it,” he said.

“I’ve played in many other games against England over the years. Even growing up, you watch it and you hear about it. There’s always banter before any game. So, I think you’re immune to it. You know that cricket speaks for itself.

“Everything else is just preamble and noise to a game that everyone’s really excited about.”

Australia have been damaged by the loss of two key all-rounders ahead of the match, Glenn Maxwell recovering from concussion after falling off a golf buggy and Mitch Marsh returning home for personal reasons.

Marcus Stoinis and Cameron Green are on hand to fill the gaps, with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne set to climb up one place in the batting order.

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