Pat Cummins: Australia bowler says he is better captain after ‘ultimate test’ in Ashes

Australia celebrate retaining the Ashes after their 2-2 draw with England
Australia have held the Ashes since winning the 2017-18 series
First Test: Australia v Pakistan
Date: 14-18 December Time: 02:20 GMT Venue: Perth Stadium
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Sounds, BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sport website, plus regular reports and features

Australia’s Pat Cummins says he is a better captain after the ultimate test of the Ashes in England.

His side retained the Ashes after a 2-2 draw, but were leading 2-0 after the opening two Tests this summer.

Cummins also led Australia to wins in the World Test Championship final against India in June and the 50-over World Cup in India in October.

“I’ve learned a lot from the Ashes,” Cummins told the BBC World Service’s Sportsworld programme.

“It’s placed me better as a captain moving forward and I look back on that memory and that series as just a huge series in my career.”

Asked if the Ashes was the ultimate test for him, Cummins said: “I think that’s fair.

“I certainly felt drained by the end of that series. Six Test matches with the World Test Championship just before it as well in the space of under two months.

“The volume of cricket was one thing and then, of course, you know the scrutiny.

“There were millions of people watching that series back home and over in England. Even if you try and shut it out as best as you can, you’re still turning up to a stadium full of people who are noisy.

“It was an amazing series, but of course it takes it out of you as a player.”

Australia followed the high of retaining the Ashes by winning the World Cup for the sixth time in India.

They lost their first two games of the tournament before winning nine in a row to lift the trophy, with Cummins stating he will reflect on the win at the end of his career and say “that’s the absolute pinnacle”.

His side return to action in Australia on Thursday morning (02:20 GMT) when they host Pakistan in Perth in the first of a three-Test series.

Series against West Indies and New Zealand follow before players may feature in the Indian Premier League in April.

Australia will then try and become triple world champions in June’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies.

“I don’t think it’s a new challenge,” said Cummins, when asked how he manages his workload with so much cricket being played.

“This year has been under the microscope a bit more because it’s been particularly busy this year, especially for the Aussie team. An India tour, World Test Championship obviously, that’s all before the big gruelling Ashes series and then we had the World Cup afterwards. It’s been a big year.

“You’ve got to be able to manage yourself as an individual player if you want to be able to play three formats in international cricket.

“It’s part of the deal – if you want to play all around the world it’s going to involve being away from your families at times and a packed schedule.

“We try our best to manage it as best we can, so that we can have our best players playing as often as we can.”

You can hear the full interview with Pat Cummins on Sportsworld on the BBC World Service from 14:00 GMT on Saturday, 16 December.

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