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Priority is still to win at The Oval and win the series: Cummins

Last updated on 23 Jul 2023 | 06:20 PM
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Priority is still to win at The Oval and win the series: Cummins

The Kangaroos have not outrightly won a series in England since 2001

The circumstances could certainly have been better, but Australia have ticked off one of their main objectives, successfully retaining The Ashes on the back of the draw in the fourth Test at Old Trafford. Following going 2-0 up at Lord’s, Australia needed just a draw in one of the remaining three Tests to secure the urn and rain helped them out at Old Trafford as a total of 30 overs being bowled across days four and five meant that the Aussies avoided what looked like a certain defeat.

But despite the urn confirmed to stay with the Kangaroos, skipper Pat Cummins made it clear that his side’s main objective still is to ensure that they go to The Oval and outrightly win the series.

"Our preference is to come over and win, but nice to retain, something to be proud of. Result is the same as [2019] but the feeling is different. Doesn't change how we look at the Oval next week,” Cummins said at the post-match presentation.

The Aussie skipper said that it would be sweet to lift the urn at The Oval after ensuring a series win. Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 on the back of a 2-2 draw, but the Kangaroos have not outrightly won a series in England since 2001. At The Oval, even a draw would ensure Australia beating their arch-rivals in enemy territory for the first time in 22 years.

“I've dreamed of lifting the urn (in the last two years, after becoming captain). It'll be special, but more special if we get a win,” Cummins said.

Australia escaped with a draw at Old Trafford and in the contest, their bowling was ransacked by England, who amassed 592 runs in just 107.4 overs. There was no respite for Australia, who conceded runs at an eye-watering economy of 5.51. Cummins admitted that his side weren’t at their best in the fourth Test, and credited England for taking them down the way they did.

“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,” Cummins said.

Probably for the first time in his Test career, Cummins turned out to be the worst of the Australian seamers, taking a solitary wicket while conceding 129 off just 23 overs. Was he off-colour due to physical and mental fatigue setting in?

Cummins, who’s now played 5 Tests in the span of 50 days, disagreed, and said that he feels fresh and is ready to go again at The Oval.

"I feel pretty good, I had a bit of a break leading in, and I haven't bowled as many overs as in 2019. Not at my best this week, but will be alright for the next one.”

The teams will have three days off before recouping for the final Test at The Oval which will commence on Thursday, July 27th. 

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