Pat Cummins finds the fun as England hold on to deny Australia in fourth Ashes Test

The skipper defended the timing of his second-innings declaration.

Rory Dollard
Sunday 09 January 2022 10:20
Comments
Pat Cummins is still undefeated since taking over as Australia captain (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Pat Cummins is still undefeated since taking over as Australia captain (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Australia captain Pat Cummins had no regrets about falling one wicket short of a 4-0 lead in the Ashes admitting he found a tense draw in Sydney “a lot of fun”.

Cummins was denied victory for the first time since taking over as skipper at the start of the series, but only by the slenderest of margins.

Hunting 10 English wickets on day five at the SCG, he saw his team take nine before number 11 James Anderson negotiated the final over of the match to claim a share of the spoils.

England were second best by a distance, never even contemplating a dart at the winning target of 388 and finishing 118 short, but Cummins was not in the market for recriminations.

“Most of all it was a lot of fun. They fought hard, that’s why we love the game,” he said.

“Having a lot of runs on the board meant we could get pretty creative out there and it always felt like we were looking for wickets. The hardest thing was trying to choose amongst our five bowlers.

I was able to make quite a few calls – some of them came off, some of them didn't

Pat Cummins

“I was able to make quite a few calls – some of them came off, some of them didn’t.”

One possible slight on Cummins’ largely impressive leadership was the timing of his declaration on the fourth evening.

He allowed the lead to stretch well beyond what England might realistically have chased down despite an uncertain weather forecast that threatened to take further time out of the game.

In the end, only seven overs were lost to rain on day five but bad light did mean he was unable to bowl pace for the final three overs.

Cummins took two wickets in England’s second innings (Jason O’Brien/PA)

That allowed Steve Smith to make an unexpected breakthrough with his part-time leg-breaks but also meant Anderson’s last-gasp cameo came against a much gentler brand of bowling.

“I’ve learned the weather forecasts are hopeless! I don’t think we needed to hand it to them (a smaller target) on a platter, but for sure we were willing to risk England winning,” he said.

“I thought 100 or 110 overs was about the right amount of time to get those wickets. I would have liked to bowl Scott Boland at the end, but I think it was probably the right decision… it got pretty dark out there.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in