Pat Cummins insisted England’s victory in the third Ashes Test would not shift the momentum of the series, with Australia able to “brush this one off” in the knowledge they still hold a 2-1 advantage with two games to play.
“We’re all plenty used to it, playing cricket – there’s normally a winner and a loser,” Managing England’s three-wicket victory, Cummins said. “With victories in the first three games of this tour, we’ve had a fantastic run up to this point.” At the Oval, Australia defeated India in the World Test Championship championship match before the Ashes began.
He continued: “We’ve all played enough cricket to put this game aside even though everyone who watches it kind of wishes they had done something that might have led to a different outcome.”
This was the third straight match to play with the spectators’ nerves after Australia won the first Test by two wickets and the second by 43 runs. “It’s not my preference but they’ve been great viewing,” Cummins said. “Just tense, excellent cricket is going on outside.
“I actually find that being outside and having a sense of control over the situation while being in the middle of it is very enjoyable. When you’re in the restroom changing, it’s a thousand times worse because there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The match leaves Cummins with various selection issues to deal with once the squad has returned from “taking a few days off to recharge and flying to various places”, with Given his impact after taking over for the injured Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh was difficult to leave out at Old Trafford, and David Warner, the opener, was getting closer to needing a break after two batting errors.
However, it seems unlikely that the decision to not select Mitchell Starc for the first Test will be made again after the left-arm paceman claimed five wickets in the second innings as Australia struggled to defend 251.
“I thought he was fantastic,” Cummins said. “On this day, he was a gentleman. He can now bowl the wobble seam, swing the ball, use his bouncers, and still throw the yorker, proving to be a very versatile bowler. He is therefore developing into a more and more complete bowler with each game, and as a captain, it is a luxury to have a left-armer who is that in control of his skill and pace.”