Cummins proud as Australia retain Ashes

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By Nick Powell, Online Editor

Pat Cummins spoke of his pride as his Australian side maintained their grip on the Ashes for another two and a half years following a washout on the final day at Old Trafford.

It means Australia will take the urn into the next series in 2025/26, having now held it since 2017.

But skipper Cummins did admit the washout had not been the best “circumstances” to retain the urn, and that they were hungry to go to The Oval and clinch a series victory.

“Our preference is to come over here and win the Ashes but it is nice to retain,” he said in the post-match presentation.

“It was tough in the field this week. They batted really well. We tried a few different things and it didn’t come off. We weren’t at our best with some planning and particularly our execution but they played fantastically on the second day.

“It’s not the best circumstances but the group should be proud of themselves.

“It does feel very different to 2019 here. We wanted to win this time. Whatever happened here today it doesn’t really change how we look at The Oval next week.

“It is only the last year or two I’ve dreamed of holding the Ashes aloft. We’ve turned up motivated and it will be a very special moment at the Oval and even more special if we get a win.”

It was contrasting emotions for England, who might have hoped that just a little more play would have enabled them to get over the line in Manchester and level the series with one test remaining.

But whilst England captain Ben Stokes was disappointed at the end of the game, he was typically positive as he reflected on the first four tests so far.

“It is a tough one to take,” he said. “Playing the cricket we managed to play over the first three days and get on the wrong side of the weather it is tough to take but it is all part of the journey.

“Coming into the game, knowing what we needed to do, played in our hands a little bit. It was another do or die game for us. We couldn’t have done too much more. It will be tough to look back on but there is one more game to go and we’ll be trying to tie the series and a lot of pride to play for.

“The injury to Ollie Pope made us think about the structure of our team and bringing in Chris Woakes helps so much. I’m very pleased with everyone’s efforts that has played in this series.”

Stokes was also stubborn to defend the approach, replying simply “no” when asked if he regretted the first day declaration in the opening test at Edgbaston, or whether he would look back on why his team went 2-0 down.

In the latter BBC Sport interview he continued: “You can’t change what’s happened in the past. A lot of things can already be said about stuff that’s already happened.

“You can’t change the decisions that you’ve made, and I’ll always back decisions that I take because I know it’s the right decision to force a result.

“Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, but I’m never gonna look back and question anything that we did.”

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