Australia’s Test captain Pat Cummins has opened up about the controversial Lord’s Test during the 2023 Ashes series in England. The eventful encounter saw the Austrians secure a memorable 43-run victory and set the tone for the remainder of the five-match series. England were set a target of 371 in the fourth innings and one of the key talking points in the game was the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow.
The English wicket-keeper had stepped out of the crease before the end of the ball, allowing his Australian counterpart Alex Carey to run out behind the stumps. The unorthodox dismissal enraged the crowd at Lord’s. The result after the dismissal was also not good. Usman Khawaja came face-to-face with some members in the iconic Long Room at Lord’s, leading to an argument during the lunch break.
Pat Cummins spoke about the incident and defended the dismissal, as he did after the end of the competition. He said on Channel Seven’s Sunrise:
“I haven’t experienced anything like that before…. but I will say across my career, I’ve seen that type of dismissal at least 20 times … and it is always out.”
On the Long Room incident, Pat Cummins stated;
Davey [Warner] and Ussie [Khawaja] went back at a few of the members following some comments, it was getting pretty heated. I got the gossip from the other guys, then we all took a deep breath and looked to stay composed. We had a break, and then re-set.”
Australia suffered a brutal performance from Ben Stokes after the break. The England captain played a brilliant inning of 155 runs but could not help his team to win.
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“I Think The Big Thing Was how Many People Were Speaking About Cricket” – Pat Cummins After Lord’s Test
There was a strong reaction from the England team, fans as well as the media. England head coach Brendon McCullum had also said that the team would take some time to mingle with the guests, but he went back on his statement. Australia, on the other hand, stuck to their stand amid the ‘spirit of cricket’ debate.
Pat Cummins defended Carey from day one, with the Australian wicket-keeper receiving hostile reactions from the crowd during the remainder of the series. Believing that the incident further fueled the Ashes And expressing his delight at such a change, Cummins said:
“I think the great thing was how many people were speaking about cricket … it was the middle of winter [in Australia] and cricket was the main sport for a couple of months. So personally, I loved how much people were focusing on Test cricket and loving the contest each day. And also the old [sporting] rivalry between us and them….every Ashes series seems to drop something.”
The victory at Lord’s gave Australia a 2–0 lead in the Ashes series. They were on the verge of winning a Test series in England for the first time since 2001 but were outclassed by the hosts in the latter half of the series. England won the Third and Fifth Tests, while rain saved Australia from an inevitable defeat in the Fourth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Cummins stated that he is proud of the team’s efforts during a challenging tour.
“Our aim was to retain the Ashes which we did, but even now I look back and some moments which if they went our way… could have seen a series win as opposed to a draw. We also retained the urn over there in 2019, so I am very proud of what we have achieved, winning away from home is tough,” the skipper said.
Cummins suffered a wrist fracture in the series finale at The Oval and will miss the team’s upcoming tour of South Africa.