‘I grew up watching Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, those guys winning Ashes series. It felt a million miles away from me playing cricket in the backyard and here I am a decade later in this position.’
Thrilled Australia captain Pat Cummins praised his players for turning his childhood dream into reality with a victory in Melbourne on Tuesday that delivered an Ashes triumph in his first series in charge.
Australia thrashed England by an innings and 14 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, sealing the series 3-0 before lunch on day three in front of a festive crowd of 40,945.
“Everything’s gone to plan … I think our bowlers have been fantastic,” Cummins told reporters.
“I haven’t even felt like there’s been one session where it’s really got away from us.
“It’s what dreams are made of, the way we’ve played.”
Australia’s bowlers routed England for 68 in their second innings, their 13th lowest total in Tests, with debutant Scott Boland proving the surprise hero with a six-wicket innings haul in front of his home MCG crowd.
Australia have now retained the urn twice in succession for the first time since Steve Waugh’s side clamed an eighth consecutive series win in 2002/03.
Though Cummins was forced to miss the second Test in Adelaide after being identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case, the 28-year-old fast bowler has been a big part of Australia’s success.
Promoted to the captaincy just before the series after Tim Paine’s resignation over a ‘sexting’ scandal, Cummins has marshalled the team superbly.
He has taken 10 wickets at an average of 14.40 in his two matches and contributed 21 with the bat in Melbourne to help build an 82-run lead that England proved unable to reel in.
“I grew up watching Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, those guys winning Ashes series,” he said.
“It felt a million miles away from me playing cricket in the backyard and here I am a decade later in this position.
“It’s madness … No way near what I could imagine my life would become as a young kid.”
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