Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has refuted talks of Pat Cummins quitting Test captaincy after the Ashes 2023 following the team’s struggles against England in the drawn fourth Test at Old Trafford.
The Aussies were outplayed by England in the first three days of the Manchester Test. Asked to bat first, the tourists’ first innings folded for 317 and then the Three Lions rode on Zak Crawley’s 189 and half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow (99*), Joe Root (84), Harry Brook (61), Moeen Ali (54) and Ben Stokes (51*) to pile up a mammoth 592 on the board.
After conceding a huge first-innings lead of 275 to England, the visitors were struggling at 214/5 in their second essay but they were helped to a draw by incessant rainfall throughout the final day of the Test match.
Australia may have retained the urn thanks to the Manchester draw, but former Victoria captain Darren Berry criticized the Cummins-led side’s Australia’s approach.
Berry also predicted that Cummins, who conceded 5.6 an over in the match, would step down as captain after the final Test at The Oval.
“What I would say is leadership takes on all different shapes and forms and we’re living and dying in the world of tactics only,” McDonald told reporters.
“I think it’s fair and reasonable to critique some of the execution and tactics that we implemented but to go as far as suggesting that the captain resigns post-series, I think it would be far-fetched.
“There’s opinions that we respect and there’s opinions that we don’t.”
Asked if he thought Cummins had become a soft target, McDonald said, “We’re all working on the Australian cricket team together. It should never really come down to Pat as an individual but unfortunately, as a captain, sometimes you wear that.”
Meanwhile, Cummins has dismissed the claims that the burden of captaincy affected his own performance with the ball.
“I don’t think (that was an issue),” the Australian captain stated after the draw.
“It was just execution, I let through more boundaries than I normally do. Probably just one or two bad balls an over.”
(With Reuters Inputs)