May 27, 2024

The Ashes 2023: Australia fell short of their goal with series draw, says captain Pat Cummins

Australia captain Pat Cummins says his side “fell a little short of the goal” despite being proud of his players for retaining the Ashes.

Cummins’ side had led the series 2-0 before England fought back with wins at Headingley and The Oval.

“Two-two seems fair and it was a wonderful series,” said Cummins.

“It was two high-quality teams. It seemed like every session we shared the honours.

“From the start we said we were over here to win the Ashes.

“We can be hugely proud of retaining the Ashes – it’s no easy feat against a high-quality England in their own conditions – but of course we wanted to come over here and win.

“It is a similar group to 2019 [when the series also finished 2-2] and we just fell a little bit short of the goal.”

Australia beat India in the World Test Championship final in the week before the Ashes, before playing five Tests that ebbed and flowed from one side to the other in six weeks.

Both sides were on top on multiple occasions, but were unable to hammer home their advantage.

“There were so many moments throughout this series,” said Cummins.

“That is what makes playing in an Ashes, particularly away from home, so difficult.

“It is not just what happens on the field but the crowd and the media. You get everything thrown at you. It’s great, you wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Going one further would have been nice but we can be really proud of retaining the Ashes and the way we have played and also winning the World Test Championship too.

“It’s been a great tour and it’s good to retain and have something to show for it.”

‘Most exciting series I’ve been a part of’

Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series with 23 and he told BBC Test Match Special the series had been “incredible to be a part of”.

“It’s been the most entertaining and the most special Ashes experience I have been a part of,” added the 33-year-old.

“This has been the closest, most exciting and no doubt most watched series I’ve been a part of. All the Test matches have been really special. It’s been a really special couple of months and I’m sure everyone will reflect on that differently but will have a similar sentiment.”

The series has seen two contrasting styles with England often scoring at more than five runs an over, while Australia have often batted more conservatively.

“There’s no right or wrong in Test cricket,” said Starc.

“Fair play to England, they have gone about it in the way they want to approach Test cricket. Their last challenge will be India away. It’s exciting to watch and be involved in.

“It’s been two different gameplans and both teams have stuck true to what they wanted to do in this Ashes series.”

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