Australia captain Pat Cummins was overjoyed following Australia's sensational victory by innings and 14 runs in the third Ashes Test at Melbourne on Tuesday as he lavished praise on debutant Scott Boland who claimed a 6-7 in the second innings. In a scarcely believable morning, England started the day at 31/4 and crumbled to 68 all out as Australia sealed the Ashes by 3-0.
"It's pretty insane...an awesome few weeks, so proud of the group. Everything has clicked," Cummins, who took over the captaincy from Tim Paine before the series, said at the post-match presentation.
Boland, who was playing in front of home crowd, ripped the England batting to shreds as Australia wrapped up the match before lunch on day three despite having a first innings lead of 82 runs. Cummins expressed disbelief at the way the morning had panned out.
"We were really confident Scotty (Boland) would do a great job. Maybe not 6 for 7! Any Ashes series is when you try and make a mark on your Test career," he said of Boland, who claimed the joint fastest five-wicket haul in Test history in 19 balls.
In reply to England's first innings total of 185, Australia made 267 - the lowest for a men's Test innings victory in the 21st century after Marcus Harris made a gritty 76. Cummins felt that the series win will cement his team's identity.
"I think we've been relentless. The bowlers have owned that good area. Some big partnerships, they have earned the right to bat long. They've been really brave and taken on the game," he said.
"Last series was 4-0, one before that was 5-0, so a chance to start cementing our identity."
England captain Joe Root was measured in his response after the big defeat.
"We've been playing in these times for a while now, all you can do is try and front up. Credit to Australia they blew us away," Root said.
Root felt that covid-19 has made things difficult for his side as their preparations faced multiple roadblocks due to different state restrictions and a spate of positive cases within the touring contingent.
"A lot of hard work to do. [Covid] It's not ideal, I thought the way we went about our cricket on the field was excellent," he said.
The England skipper felt that his team was unable to make the most of their chances in the match.
"We put them under pressure and were very much in the Test match. We've got to do things for longer, been small pockets but nowhere near long enough. We know the areas we need to improve on," Root said.
"We have to stay strong and look at the next two games to take something from the tour."
A day to savour, not speculate
Cummins also brushed aside questions pertaining to head coach Justin Langer's future with the team. CA CEO Nick Hickley had also refrained from commenting on the same a couple of days ago.
"I think we'll savour this victory today and continue the Ashes," Cummins said when asked about Langer's future.
"I don't think today is the day to speculate on that. We'll all sit down together after this series or whenever his tenure is up. His contract is up for renewal in a few months and we'll deal with that then."
An ecstatic Langer was also non-committal about his contract extension. "We'll worry about that later," Langer told Fox Sports.
(With inputs from PTI)