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Australia sets sights on legacy-defining WTC-Ashes double

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates with the ICC Test Mace on the podium along with teammates after winning the World Test Championship final.—Reuters 

Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, sees the recent dominant victory over India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final as the perfect start to what he hopes will be a “legacy-defining” period for his team in England.

Only five days after lifting the impressive gold and silver WTC mace at The Oval, Australia is now focused on winning the coveted 10.5 cm terracotta Ashes urn on English soil, a feat they have not achieved since 2001. The comprehensive win against India has instilled confidence in the Australian team, as they aim to end their 22-year wait for an Ashes series victory when they kick off the five-test series at Edgbaston on Friday.

Cummins expressed his satisfaction after the 209-run victory over India, stating, “Our preparation in the last couple of months has been geared towards the six test matches here. We see it as one comprehensive tour with two significant titles to play for, and it feels great to tick the first one off.” The Ashes, known for its historical significance, tend to define eras and teams in cricket. Cummins acknowledged the difficulty of winning the Ashes but emphasized that if they were to triumph, it would be a defining moment for their legacy.

The International Cricket Council praised Australia’s WTC triumph, highlighting their status as the “all-conquering” team and noting that they have now won every ICC Men’s Trophy. Australia’s trophy cabinet boasts five 50-over World Cups, one T20 World Cup, two Champions Trophy prizes, and now the WTC mace.

While the popularity of shorter formats of cricket continues to rise, Cummins values the five-day game as the heart of the sport. Winning the WTC was particularly satisfying for him because it required victory across different conditions worldwide. Reflecting on the journey, Cummins said, “To make it to the (WTC) final, you’ve got to win everywhere in the world. I think this cycle consisted of 20 test matches, and we might have only lost three or four. The boys were fantastic throughout the entire journey. We adapted well, and that’s what makes it so satisfying.”

As Australia shifts its focus to the Ashes, they are determined to build on their recent success and create a lasting legacy for their team. Breaking the 22-year drought in England is their primary goal, and they are prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead. The anticipation grows as fans eagerly await the commencement of the Ashes series, anticipating an intense battle between Australia and England.

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