Pat Cummins has revealed how a difficult team meeting the day after Ben Stokes' Headingley heroics helped Australia get their Ashes campaign back on track in 2019.

After victory at Edgbaston in the series opener was followed by a draw at Lord's, Australia appeared set to retain the urn when they seized control of the third Test, bowling their rivals out for just 67 on the second day.

Set an unlikely 359 to win in Leeds, England's hopes looked to be over when they slipped to 286-9. However, aided by last man Jack Leach, Stokes smashed the hosts to an astonishing one-wicket victory.

The all-rounder finished up on 135 not out, though only after surviving a strong lbw shout against Nathan Lyon, who had spilled a simple run-out out opportunity to dismiss Leach from the previous delivery.

As shown in the Amazon Prime documentary 'The Test: A New Era for Australia's Team', head coach Justin Langer called the squad together the following day to watch back footage of the fourth day's play, a move Cummins thought was a risk as emotions were still running high.

The fast bowler told the Guardian: "The feeling around the group was, ‘What's he (Langer) doing? He's got this one way off'.

"I remember getting the message and I thought, ‘C'mon, we’ve all gone through this, just give us a day off.' 

"Everyone had played it over in their head a hundred times that night. I just remember thinking it's better if we sleep on it, have a good day off, forget about it, and come together once we've all mellowed down a little bit.

"It was literally 15 hours after the last ball, so emotions were still high. That was the context of the meeting, everyone was still hurting."

Australia went on to win the next match in Manchester and while England claimed the finale at The Oval, a 2-2 result made sure the tourists' grip on the Ashes remained.

"We all left that meeting thinking, 'You know what, if we did the same thing a hundred times over, we'd win 99 times out of 100'," Cummins continued.

He [Stokes] just had a day out, played incredibly well. We had a couple of chances we missed but, do you know what, in the end it was just that last bit where someone had a day out and it came off."

Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world for 2020 by Wisden.

Stokes ends India batsman Virat Kohli's three-year reign in possession of the honour and becomes the first Englishman since fellow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to be considered the best player in the global game by the esteemed publication.

The body of work amassed by Stokes over the course of an outstanding 2019 made him an obvious frontrunner for such recognition.

He top-scored with an unbeaten 84 as England took the World Cup final into a super over, where Stokes and Jos Buttler scored 15 before the hosts won on the boundary count back rule at Lord's.

Remarkably, that was not Stokes' finest hour of the English summer, as he went on to score 135 not out to seal an enthralling one-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley – an innings to rank alongside the all-time greats in cricket's longest format.

Jofra Archer, another standout performer in England's World Cup and Ashes campaigns was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year for 2019, along with Australia duo Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.

Labuschagne's introduction to the series came as a concussion substitute when Steve Smith was struck by a brutish Archer bouncer and he went on to make the number three position his own, averaging 112 in the Australian summer that followed.

Cummins underlined his status as the number one pace bowler in the world with 29 wickets against England in an urn-retaining 2-2 draw.

That is a standing Archer can certainly aspire to, having claimed 55 wickets across all formats in his breakthrough international year.

Wisden's five cricketers of 2019 were rounded out by Simon Harmer, the Essex spinner whose 83 wickets gave him 12 more scalps than any other bowler on the way to County Championship glory, and Ellyse Perry.

Perry was Australia's leading run-scorer (378) and wicket-taker (15) in the 2019 Women's Ashes and was also named the leading women's player in the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell is the leading T20 cricketer.

Pat Cummins revealed he is in regular contact with Kolkata Knight Riders over the postponed Indian Premier League season, which may yet be moved to later in 2020.

The latest edition of the tournament was due to begin on March 29 with a rematch of last year's final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, but the coronavirus pandemic has put the IPL - along with all other major sporting events - on hold.

India has a travel ban in place for all international flights until April 14, meaning Australian fast bowler Cummins remains in his homeland as he waits for an update on the situation.

Media reports in India have suggested organisers may shift the campaign to take place in October and November instead, though such a move could only be made if the International Cricket Council decides to cancel the Twenty20 World Cup, which is due to take place at a similar time in Australia.

"Everything is changing, literally every single day," Cummins said during a video conference call with reporters on Friday. "The last I spoke to them (the Knight Riders), they said they're still really confident and hopeful it will be on at some stage.

"They obviously haven't cancelled it or anything like that yet. It's still a bit of a holding pattern, so we're in contact with our teams every few days.

"Obviously everyone is still really keen for it to go ahead, but the priority is to minimise risk of this spreading.

"It's going to be pretty tight, I think the travel ban (in India) is in place until April 14, so I don't expect anything too soon to happen."

While disappointed at not being able to play for the Knight Riders right now, Cummins - who became the IPL's most expensive overseas signing at December's auction - is making the most of the unexpected break following a hectic 12 months.

The bowler was part of Australia's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and then also the Ashes series that followed, while he was a regular in all formats throughout a busy summer schedule on home soil.

"The preference would be to be over there (at the IPL) playing, but I think the silver lining is we do get a bit of a break," Cummins told the media.

"We're lucky in cricket, that it [the IPL] is right at the end of the season. We've played basically our whole season out, except for the last couple of games (against New Zealand) and we're always looking for those small breaks to refresh.

"But it almost feels like the start of an off-season at the moment, albeit we're all training by ourselves at home rather than going to the team gym."

Tim Paine would "fully support" Steve Smith if he succeeds him as Australia Test captain but says there are other strong contenders for the job

Smith's two-year ban from leadership roles at international level for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal ended this week.

Paine stepped up to replace Smith as skipper following his suspension and although the 35-year-old is in the twilight of his career, he has no intention of standing down just yet.

The wicketkeeper would back Smith should he get another chance to lead Australia, but believes there are alternative options for the powers that be to consider.

Paine said of Smith: "He's captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and Welsh Fire in The Hundred; it's something he loves doing.

"If Steve Smith decides that's the way he wants to go then I'd fully support him in trying to do so again."

He added: "We've got a number of guys to choose from who can put their hand up.

"There's Steve Smith, who's done it before, or the people who are developing underneath like a Travis Head or an Alex Carey -- Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins are other ones.

"We're starting to build some real depth so that when my time's up we've got a number of options."

Paine has given thought to when he will step aside during a time of such uncertainty amid a coronavirus shutdown, but is giving nothing away.

"I know what I'm thinking, in terms of how far I can play on and we're [Paine, the selectors and head coach Justin Langer] on the same page," he told reporters via video conference.

Pat Cummins is determined to play a big role in Australia's bid to win the ICC T20 World Cup on home soil.

The vice-captain has featured in just 25 Twenty20 internationals but is optimistic he can be a key performer when the tournament is held in his homeland during October and November.

Cummins features in Australia's squad for the three-match T20 series against South Africa that begins on Friday in Johannesburg.

The paceman is coming off a sticky ODI series in January against India, taking just two wickets in three games at the cost of 161 runs.

Asked how he might look to improve, Cummins told Omnisport: "There's always lots of things. The good thing is we've got a T20 World Cup this year. I haven't played a lot of T20 in the last couple of years so I'm excited for that.

"We've got plenty of games to work out a few things, but there's always something to work on."

Cummins had an early introduction to international cricket, making his T20 and Test debut at the age of 18, before injuries disrupted his career.

Now 26, each year that goes by without a major injury setback is a blessed relief.

It means that when he looks back at the past 12 months, he can point to "fortunately, more highs than lows".

"Everything has gone to plan," Cummins said. "It's been brilliant to play as much as I have, but also I've been really happy with how it's all coming out and yeah, a few series wins, it's been nice."

"The more you bowl, the more confident you feel you can just concentrate on just trying to bowl well, rather than all these different things, so I've been really lucky. It's been a good run, some big series that I've been fully fit for, it makes a big difference."

Cummins says he would be open to captaining his country in the future if the opportunity arises.

"Potentially if it came up, but I don't think that now is a time to talk about it," Cummins said. "We're in great form, the Test side, after a pretty much flawless summer and bringing back the Ashes, so we'll talk about it down the track."

Ben Stokes has been named ICC Player of the Year after inspiring England to Cricket World Cup glory and playing one of the great Test innings to seal an Ashes victory at Headingley.

Stokes made a magnificent unbeaten 84 as England beat New Zealand in the most dramatic World Cup final at Lord's in July.

The all-rounder went on to guide England to a stunning one-wicket victory with an astonishing 135 not out in the third Test against Australia in Leeds, having also crafted a hundred in the previous match at Lord's.

Stokes scored 821 runs and took 22 wickets in 11 Tests last year, as well as 719 runs and 12 wickets in 20 ODIs to land the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

The England vice-captain said: "It is quite flattering to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year. The past 12 months have been incredible for England cricket and to lift the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup for the first time was our greatest achievement.

"This award is testament to my team-mates and the support staff that have been there every step of the way. Fundamentally, without the support of these individuals, we would never have achieved our objective of lifting a major trophy.

"There is an incredible bond between team-mates and to savour our achievements, whether that's winning the World Cup final at Lord's or digging deep to win a Test match against Australia at Headingley. It is satisfying you can accomplish these superb highs together.

"The last 12 months have been the best in my career, and I believe what we attained will be the catalyst to achieve further success over the next few years."

Australia paceman Pat Cummins was named Test player of 2019, while India batsman Rohit Sharma was named the best ODI player in the world.

Cummins' team-mate Marnus Labuschagne is the ICC Men's Emerging Cricketer of 2019 after averaging 64.94 with the bat in the longest format last year.

Nathan Lyon was delighted to be able to put on a show for his family and friends as the Australia bowler claimed 5-68 in the third Test against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The spin bowler shrugged off a nasty thumb injury and two dropped catches as he starred with the ball, helping to skittle the Black Caps for 251 before the hosts extended their lead to 243 runs - without losing a second-innings wicket - at the end of day three.

Lyon had never posted a five-for at the SCG before and was glad to have done so in a fine display on Sunday.

"It's always special being part of the Sydney Test match and playing in front of your family and friends, and to perform in the first innings was pretty special," he said.

"There's still plenty of work to do in the second dig, but if you were rocking up today and saying we'd end up with a lead of 240 and 10 wickets in hand, we'll take that every day."

Australia's bowlers have pledged to donate $1,000AUD to the bushfire relief appeal for every wicket they take in the Test.

Discussing the devastating fires that have swept the country, Lyon added: "We're not doing it [donating money] for recognition or anything like that...we're playing a game of cricket and there's people being severely affected by fires.

"It puts cricket in perspective and it's really showing Australia's true colours. The true heroes of Australia right now are the firefighters and the volunteers.

"Everyone rallies behind someone when they're having a hard time. I'm proud to be Australian in hard times, to be honest, and we're getting around them."

Asked about his impressive recent form, Lyon suggested it was as much about the entire bowling unit as his own efforts.

"I'm fortunate to be part of the best bowling attack in the world so it's just about building pressure from both ends," he said.

"We've been able to do that over the last eight months or so. We're just getting our reward for all our hard work and preparation."

Australia piled further misery on New Zealand as Nathan Lyon's five-for helped roll the Black Caps and extend the home side's advantage on day three of the third Test.

Lyon overcame a bloodied thumb and two dropped catches to claim figures of 5-68 in Sydney, where the embattled Kiwis were dismissed for 251 on Sunday.

After skittling New Zealand late in the final session, David Warner (23 not out) and Joe Burns (16 not out) guided Australia to 40-0 and a lead of 243 runs at stumps.

New Zealand returned to the SCG at 63-0, with Tom Latham and Tom Blundell at the crease in reply to Australia's 454, however, it was another difficult morning for the tourists.

Lyon bowled Blundell before the New Zealand batsman could add to his overnight score of 34 and the Australia spinner struck again – trapping Jeet Raval (31) lbw.

Pat Cummins (3-44) joined the wicket-takers in the following over when his delivery to stand-in captain Lathan (49) was caught by Mitchell Starc as the Black Caps were 141-3 at lunch.

Debutant Glenn Phillips dug deep for New Zealand, who have tried to restore some pride having already lost the trans-Tasman series, but he had little support in the middle session.

Cummins trapped Ross Taylor (22) lbw, BJ Watling (9) was bundled over by fellow paceman Starc and Colin de Grandhomme (20) was run out prior to tea.

Phillips, who was twice dropped by Lyon, celebrated a half-century before he was bowled by Cummins, with Lyon cleaning up the tail – William Somerville (0), Neil Wagner (0) and Matt Henry (3) sent back to the pavilion.

That brought Australia out to bat again, and Warner and Burns negotiated a tricky 16-over spell to put the hosts firmly in control ahead of the penultimate day.

Glenn McGrath believes Australia's bowlers are up there with the best attack they have ever had.

Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon all made an impact when Australia beat New Zealand at Perth Stadium to seal the on-going three-Test series with a game to spare.

Pattinson got his chance after Josh Hazlewood limped out of the first Test with a hamstring injury, giving another demonstration of Australia's strength in depth. 

McGrath spearheaded a formidable Australia attack that included Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Shane Warne and he does not rate that unit as being any better than the current crop.

Speaking on the eve of the Pink Test at the SCG, which generates funds for the McGrath Foundation, the former seamer said: "They are right up there, without a doubt, their stats prove that.

"They are forming an attack that can compete with any era of Australian cricket.

"That spell on the day three [in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG] with Pat Cummins and James Pattinson, the way they bowled in tandem, was as good a fast bowling as you'll see anywhere in the world.

"To have Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood as well, four quality bowlers, throw in Nathan Lyon as well, it's as good a bowling attack as we've had.

"A lot people say New Zealand has been disappointing but I think a lot of that has been because of the way our bowlers have bowled.

"In Australian conditions they are tough to face, they will be tough to face anywhere in the world but especially at home."

New Zealand called up uncapped batsman Glenn Phillips on the eve of the final match of the series as cover for Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls, who have been laid low by illness.

Pat Cummins felt it "all came together" as he claimed his first five-wicket Test haul in 11 months to put Australia in an almost unassailable position against New Zealand in Melbourne.

The home side ended day three of the second Test on 137-4 in their second innings, giving them a lead of 456 over the beleaguered tourists, who had earlier been dismissed for 148.

Cummins was the Black Caps' destroyer-in-chief with 5-28 in a wonderful display of fast bowling at the MCG.

It was his first five-for since January, when he took 6-23 to guide his team to victory against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.

He said: "I was happy with how it came out today. I feel like I've been bowling well, especially the last couple of games.

"Today it felt like it all came together and fortunately, yeah, a few nicks. But to be honest, I'm not really focused too much on the past, it's more what's ahead of me."

On a day of minor milestones, Cummins' removal of Henry Nicholls for a duck was also his first lbw in his last 70 scalps – although that statistic came as a surprise to the 26-year-old.

"Was it? First LB, wow. None in England? I probably should have bowled fuller," he joked.

"I feel like a lot of the wickets are caught behind the wicket. I feel like when the wicket is pretty true it's hard to attack the stumps sometimes. That's always a challenge, trying to get the ball in a position where you can get an LB or a bowled. But yeah, that's surprised me because we always talk about trying to hit the top of the bails and that kind of height, so thanks for that. I'll work on that!"

Cummins' heroics helped Australia establish a 319-run first-innings lead but he endorsed captain Tim Paine's decision not to enforce the follow-on.

"No, [I was] not that keen to bowl tonight," he added. "There's still two days left in the game so we're in no major rush.

"I hear the commentators and everyone talk about it a lot – [but] it's still a massive decision. When you're that far in front in the game, to give the other team a chance to get back into it.

"I think I bowled 17 overs, which isn't huge, but suddenly if we have to have another couple of days out there [in the field] that's basically one innings of bowling, 40 or 50 overs.

"[We will try to get] a good night's sleep, [and go] fresh at them tomorrow. Hopefully we can strike while we're a little bit fresher."

James Pattinson contributed 3-34 on his return to the Test side and Cummins was not surprised by his fellow quick's impact.

"We all know how good Jimmy is," he said.

"When you speak to guys playing Shield cricket or county cricket they speak of him as though he's one of the best bowlers in the world, and we all know that.

"To come out here in front of his home fans, rather than in Shield cricket, was great.

"We absolutely love having him in our team. He's a competitor and bowls 145 kilometres an hour, gets up for the challenge, and nips the ball around. So, he's a handful. [I am] Really happy for him."

Pat Cummins is "clearly the best bowler in the world" and is only getting better with experience according to Australia captain Tim Paine.

Paceman Cummins is the ICC's top-ranked Test bowler and this year became the second fastest Australian quick to 100 wickets in cricket's longest format.

Cummins will feature for Australia in the second Test against New Zealand, which starts on Thursday, and returns to the MCG where he took 6-27 and hit 63 against India in last year's Boxing Day Test, which the hosts lost.

Skipper Paine hailed the talents of the 26-year-old, who has 134 wickets in 28 Tests at an average of 22.18.

"He's clearly the best bowler in the world, his stats will probably back that up," said Paine, whose side hold a 1-0 lead over the Black Caps in the three-match series.

"Not just for one series, or one Test, or two Tests here or there, he's done it every game.

"I think he's getting better with experience as well, I think you're noticing he's not always bowling high-140s anymore, which is a great, great attribute and skill."

Kolkata Knight Riders splashed out a record INR 15.5 crore for Australia star Pat Cummins in the IPL auction on Thursday.

Cummins had been the subject of bids from both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals before Knight Riders gazumped their rivals.

The deal, worth roughly $2.2million, makes Cummins the most expensive overseas buy in IPL history.

The top-ranked Test bowler previously played in Kolkata in 2014 and 2015, along with Delhi Capitals in 2017. He missed the 2018 tournament with Mumbai Indians through injury.

Cummins has 17 wickets, at a rate of 29.35, in his 16 career IPL matches to date.

He is joined at Knight Riders by England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, whose reward for 2019 Cricket World Cup success is a much-improved deal.

Morgan, who is set to lead England again at the 2020 T20 World Cup, fetched INR 5.25 crore - more than double his wage for Kings XI Punjab in his most recent appearance in 2017.

Meanwhile, Cummins was not the only quick to welcome a big contract on Thursday, as debutant Sheldon Cottrell went to Kings XI for INR 8.5 crore.

And Indians signed Nathan Coulter-Nile for INR 8 crore.

Rajasthan Royals brought Jaydev Unadkat back for a third straight year, this time for a more modest INR 3 crore having spent top fees on the 28-year-old at the past two tournaments.

Glenn Maxwell went to Kings XI for INR 10.75 crore, while Royal Challengers sent INR 10 crore to Chris Morris.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins starred as Australia knocked over Pakistan on the stroke of stumps on day one of the opening Test.

Starc claimed four wickets – including the final dismissal of the innings – and Cummins finished with three as Pakistan were bowled out for 240 at the Gabba on Thursday.

After losing five wickets in a middle-session collapse, Pakistan battled back via Mohammad Rizwan (37) and Yasir Shah (26) until losing 0-3 as Australia made the most of the second new ball in Brisbane.

Pakistan batted first after winning the toss, and it looked to be a wise decision as the tourists frustrated Australia's attack.

Despite a couple of early shouts, Pakistan impressed with captain Azhar Ali (39) and Shan Masood (27) at the crease – the pair making it to lunch unscathed on 57-0.

Azhar and Shan became the first tourists to bat through the opening session of a Test at the Gabba without lunch.

But Australia turned the screws on Pakistan after lunch as Josh Hazlewood (2-46), Cummins (3-60) and Starc (4-52) ripped through the top order.

After Pakistan reached 75-0 shortly after the break, Australia took 4-3 in a stunning seven-over blitz – Cummins setting the tone.

Cummins, the world's number one Test bowler, made the breakthrough with an angling delivery, which removed Shaan, who edged through to Steve Smith at slips.

The floodgates opened from that point as Hazlewood struck to dismiss Azhar – his 100th Test wicket on Australian soil – and then Babar Azam (1).

Starc sent Haris Sohail back to the pavilion caught behind for one, while Iftikhar Ahmed (7) was the last wicket to fall before lunch after inside-edging a Nathan Lyon (1-40) delivery to Marnus Labuschagne.

Resuming on 125-5 following tea, Rizwan came out with intent – hitting Cummins for three boundaries in one over.

Rizwan, however, was unfortunate after he was controversially caught behind on a Cummins delivery which appeared to be a no-ball.

But Pakistan dug deep and looked set to see out the day with four wickets in hand, until Australia took the new ball and Starc claimed back-to-back scalps as the lights came on, with 16-year-old debutant Naseem Shah (7) preventing a hat-trick prior to being caught and bowled at the death.

Pat Cummins will skip Australia's third and final Twenty20 against Pakistan with a view to being fresh for the first Test at the Gabba.

The star spearhead is remaining behind in Sydney as Australia travel to Perth for Friday's decider after taking a 1-0 series lead thanks to their commanding seven-wicket win on Tuesday.

Cummins claimed 1-19 from his four overs in Canberra but Australia are wary of adding to his heavy recent workload.

The world's top-ranked Test bowler played every match of Australia's Cricket World Cup and Ashes campaigns from June to September.

Australia head coach Justin Langer said: "We've got so much cricket on, he plays a lot of it, so when you get a little opportunity rather than taking the long flight to Perth [you take it]. He's going to stay here, recover and get prepared for the Test series."

Australia and Pakistan will have just under two weeks to warm up for the first of their two five-day fixtures following Friday's meeting at Optus Stadium.

Cummins could still take part in New South Wales' next four-day Sheffield Shield game against Western Australia, which begins on Monday.

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