Australia captain Pat Cummins expressed his pride with the team's complete performance after the hosts embarrassed England to claim the opening Ashes Test.

England fell to pieces on day four as Australia humbled the tourists by nine wickets to draw first blood in the Ashes on Saturday.

Australia were set just 20 runs for victory after England went from 220-2 at the start of play to 297 all out – the visiting nation losing 77-8 in a stunning collapse.

Nathan Lyon fuelled Australia with 4-91 as he became only the third Australian bowler to reach 400 wickets and Cummins – in his first Test as captain after replacing former skipper Tim Paine – revelled in the display while hailing man-of-the-match Travis Head following his first-inning century.

"I really enjoyed it, a lot of things did go right, probably from the toss - overcast conditions, wicket had a bit in it, turn up day two and it's blue skies," Cummins said during the post-match presentations. "So someone was smiling on me.

"Really proud of everyone, complete performance, the bowlers did their thing, then Marnus [Labuschagne] and Davey's [David Warner] partnership and the way Travis [Head] played. Sign of a positive, brave side.

"I was really happy about how everyone stuck to it, we bowled without luck yesterday [Friday]. Turned up positive and not thinking about too much other than trying to get that breakthrough.

"That's why we want him [Head] in the side, he can take a game away in a couple of hours. He showed what he can do, bright future, hopefully he's away now."

 

Cummins also said he is confident David Warner will be fit for the day-night Test in Adelaide after the star opener did not bat on Saturday, while also adding that paceman Josh Hazlewood had pulled up okay.

As for England skipper Joe Root, he cut a frustrated figure after the tourists' overnight hopes were swiftly dashed at the Gabba.

England emerged on the fourth day with renewed hope after Root and Dawid Malan mounted a fine rear-guard on Friday – the pair's stance leading the tourists to 220-2, but they capitulated and were all out prior to lunch.

"Frustration, we worked really hard to get ourselves back in the game last night and we knew how in important it was to try and get through to the new ball unscathed," Root said. "If we carried that partnership forward we could have given ourselves an opportunity.

"You saw how the pitch was playing here was sideways movement and the cracks were appearing. It's a shame we couldn't get through that initial period."

Root added: "Important in a five-match series not to feel too sorry for ourselves, relish the challenge to go out there and try and get one back. There are good things to take, most importantly the bowling effort. Created chances and felt in the game for a long time. Need to learn from this and come back stronger."

"Easy with hindsight, but can't create as many chances as we did and put them down. Similar with the bat, [29-4] is not the way to start a Test series. But we know where we need to improve, and the way we responded in the second series showed fight which will stand us in good stead," he said.

England fell to pieces in a day-four Ashes collapse as Australia ruthlessly wrapped up the opening Test by nine wickets behind Nathan Lyon's historic performance.

Australia celebrated a comprehensive victory at the Gabba, where England lost eight wickets in the morning session to set the hosts just 20 runs to win, which they scored post-lunch with the loss one wicket.

Lyon had become only the third Australian bowler to reach 400 wickets as England capitulated all out for 297 in Brisbane on Saturday – the spinner leading his nation's charge with 4-91.

England emerged on the fourth day with renewed hope after Joe Root and Dawid Malan mounted a fine rear-guard on Friday – the pair's stance leading the tourists to 220-2.

 

But England's revival quickly diminished as they crumbled and were eventually all out before lunch – losing eight wickets for just 77 runs.

Lyon sparked the collapse in the fourth over of the day, the milestone man got Malan (82) to edge onto his pad for Marnus Labuschagne to take a sharp catch at silly mid-off with the second new ball approaching, snapping a 162-run partnership.

Root added three runs to his overnight score before he fell to Cameron Green (2-23) and Ollie Pope (4) followed his captain back to the pavilion the very next over after attempting to cut a Lyon delivery, instead punching to Steve Smith at slip.

Australia sniffed blood and England simply had no answer as Pat Cummins (2-51) and Josh Hazlewood (1-32) got the wickets of Ben Stokes (14) and Jos Buttler (23), with Lyon cleaning up the tail, alongside Green.

After lunch, Marcus Harris (9 not out) hit the winning boundary to clinch Australia's victory following Alex Carey's dismissal for 9.

 

Lyon joins exclusive club

Before Lyon, only Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) had taken 400 wickets or more for Australia. The spinner joined the club after finally ending his quest for the milestone, having waited almost a year. Lyon became the seventh spin bowler to take 400 wickets in men's Test cricket.

Carey makes history

The Gabba opener marked a Test debut for wicketkeeper Carey, who stepped in behind the stumps after former skipper Tim Paine opted to take a break from cricket. Carey capitalised, marking his bow with eight catches – becoming the first player in Test cricket to achieve the number on debut.

Pat Cummins reflected on a "pretty crazy" first day as Australia's Test captain after his side dismantled England at the Gabba to start the Ashes in style.

Mitchell Starc bowled Rory Burns with the very first ball in Brisbane on Wednesday and the hosts went on to skittle England out for just 147 before rain and bad light stopped play.

Cummins, who replaced Tim Paine as captain following the wicketkeeper's resignation last month in the wake of a lewd texting scandal, led the way for Australia, taking 5-38.

The 28-year-old became the second pace bowler to take five wickets in a men's Test innings as captain of Australia, after George Giffen (three occasions in December 1894, February 1895 and January 1895), and has taken 133 wickets in the longest format since the start of 2018, more than any other player.

England skipper Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat on a green pitch in Queensland, and though Cummins acknowledged he would likely have made the same decision, he had no regrets over losing the coin flip as he looked back on a wonderful day for Australia.

"Pretty crazy... it's all gone to plan so far," Cummins told BT Sport.

"Really proud of all the guys. I was probably going to have a bat. I genuinely wasn't upset and we made the most of it.

"[The pitch] is a little bit soft. You're always in the game on the morning of day one. It got a little bit quicker after lunch but the ball got a little bit softer. It's a pretty standard Gabba wicket."

Asked to comment on his five-for, Cummins added: "The body felt decent. I've bowled better before and haven't got as many rewards. I kept it tight and got the ball up there."

Starc's 2-35 and Josh Hazlewood's 2-42 were added to by a first Test wicket for Cameron Green (1-6) as England were cast aside with ease - only four of the tourists' side making it into double figures.

The selection of opening bowler Starc had come under some scrutiny, but he responded in perfect fashion when his first delivery crashed into Burns' leg stump.

It is only the second time in Ashes history that a batsman has been dismissed with the first ball of the first Test.

"Really happy for him, he really held the attack together," Cummins said of Starc.

Pat Cummins made a blistering start to his Australia captaincy, spearheading a day of destruction with a five-for as England were skittled out for 147 on day one of the opening Ashes Test.

Cummins – who replaced Tim Paine as skipper after stepping down and ultimately taking a break from cricket following a lewd texting scandal – ushered in a new era with a five-wicket haul for just 38 runs before rain and bad light scuppered play at the Gabba on Wednesday.

England won the toss and opted to bat first on a green wicket in Brisbane but it was a horror day for Joe Root's tourists.

Mitchell Starc (2-35) knocked over Roy Burns' leg stump with the first ball of the series and things quickly turned sour, much to the delight of the local crowd.

Root's nightmare was realised when he was sent back to the pavilion for a duck by Josh Hazlewood (2-42) as England found themselves 11-3 after Dawid Malan (6) also succumbed to the Australian quick.

Australia continued to put England to the sword as Cummins claimed the scalp of star Ben Stokes (5), leaving England 29-4 through just 12.4 overs.

Haseeb Hameed (25) tried his best to steer the sinking ship, but Australia continued where they left off post-lunch – Cummins dismissing the opener with vice-captain Steve Smith on hand to collect the catch.

Ollie Pope (35) and Jos Buttler (39) guided England past 100 before Starc broke the partnership, Buttler edging through to debutant wicketkeeper Alex Carey for the second of his three catches.

Australia wrapped up the innings early in the afternoon as Cameron Green (1-6) celebrated his first Test wicket by removing Pope before Ollie Robinson (0), Mark Wood (8) and Chris Woakes (21) fell victim to Cummins, with the weather preventing the hosts from beginning their run chase.

 

Cummins joins exclusive club

It was a memorable day for Cummins, who became the second pace bowler to take five wickets in a Test innings as captain of Australia after George Griffin (three occasions in December 1894, February 1895 and January 1895). Cummins has taken 133 wickets in Test cricket since the start of 2018 – the most of any bowler in that time.

Starc silences critics

After avoiding the axe for the two opening Ashes Tests, Starc had the perfect response for his doubters with a first-ball wicket. It was just the second time in Ashes history a batter has been dismissed off the opening delivery of a series, while it was the 13th time Starc has claimed a wicket in the first over of a Test since 2014.

Australia will be expected to ensure normal service is resumed in the heat of an Ashes battle at the Gabba when they start a new era on Wednesday.

The Tim Paine sexting scandal presented Pat Cummins with the opportunity to become the first fast bowler to captain the Australia Test side.

Cummins was appointed less than a fortnight before his side start their defence of the urn against fierce rivals England, with Steve Smith his assistant as Paine takes an indefinite mental health break from cricket. 

The paceman has long since been talked of as a potential successor to Paine and gets his chance earlier than expected.

Cummins was already on a high from playing his part in Australia's maiden T20 World Cup triumph in Dubai last month and should thrive on the extra responsibility of being skipper.

Australia have not played a Test since they were consigned to a 2-1 home defeat to India in January and although England have had plenty of action in the longest format this year, poor weather in Brisbane has badly hampered their preparations.

Stats Perform picks out some of the storylines, sprinkled with some Opta data, from an Australia perspective before one of the great sporting rivalries gets under way again.

 

Cummins to get Australia going?

Cummins has led Australia's pace attack on many occasions and was the pick of the bowlers in a 2-2 Ashes series draw in England two years ago, taking 29 wickets at average of 19.62.

Since the start of 2018, no bowler has claimed more scalps in the longest format than the 28-year-old's 128 - which have come at 19.9 apiece.

Cummins, the number one Test bowler in the world, will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of ripping into what has been a fragile England batting line-up.

Josh Hazlewood will also pose a huge threat and Mitchell Starc will be out to silence critics such as Shane Warne, while Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser show Australia's strength in depth in the pace ranks.

 

Gabba no longer a fortress?

Australia had not lost a Test at the Gabba for 33 years until India's famous victory in January.

Joe Root fanned the flames last month by stating the hostile Brisbane venue is no longer such a "stronghold" for Australia.

It has most certainly not been a happy hunting ground for England, who have only won four of 21 Tests at the stage for the curtain-raiser for the series. The tourists' last Test win at the Gabba came in November 1986.

England have not won a Test in Australia since January 2011, losing nine and drawing one of their previous 10 contests, and they will be braced for a barrage of pace when they start their quest to regain the urn this week.

 

England must find an answer to Smith and Labuschagne 

The England bowlers had seen more than enough of Smith by the end of the 2019 series.

He racked up 774 runs at an average of 110.57 from seven innings, reaching three figures on three occasions and scoring a sublime 211 at Old Trafford.

The former skipper broke his own record for number of runs in a Test series in the 21st century. Only the great Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12) have more Ashes centuries than Smith's 11.

Marnus Labuschagne was also outstanding in England two years ago, averaging 50.42. He has been a revelation at number three and will have a big role to play.

 

Australia in safe hands with Carey?

Alex Carey will take the gloves and make his Test debut at the Gabba in the absence of Paine.

Carey has plenty of experience at the age of 30 and has 83 international white-ball experiences under his belt.

He comes into his Test bow on the back of making a timely century for South Australia against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield and has a chance to cement his spot in the side.

Australia have opted for Travis Head over Usman Khawaja as captain Pat Cummins confirmed the starting XI to face England in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba.

It was between Head and Khawaja in the race to bat at number five in Wednesday's opener in Brisbane and Australia stuck with the former.

Head, who played in four of the 2019 Ashes Tests and top-scored with 51 at an average of 27.28 before sitting out the final match, has made 394 runs – including two centuries – at 49.25 this Sheffield Shield season.

His overall Test record also stands at an average of 39.75 from 19 matches, including two tons.

Khawaja – without an international appearance in the longest format of cricket since the third Ashes Test in 2019 – also had a pair of hundreds as part of a 460-run haul at 65.71 in the Sheffield Shield.

But new Australia skipper Cummins and selectors preferred Head as they bid to retain the urn, though England are yet to confirm their XI.

"It was a tight one. Both really good options, really strong form," said Cummins on Sunday.

"Experience is great from Uzzie and we feel really lucky to have that in the squad, but Trav's been playing a lot for us the last couple of years.

"He's gone away and he's churned out runs in England, here in Australia, and we feel like he's really ready to go."

Australia quick Mitchell Starc avoided the axe, selectors keeping faith with the paceman alongside fellow pace bowlers Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Starc's position was under threat due to his form and the rise of Jhye Richardson, who had taken 15 wickets in his past two Sheffield Shield matches.

England captain Joe Root declined to announce his team during Sunday's series launch, telling reporters: "We've got all the options on the table [but] we're not going to name a team just yet.

"We'll have to see the closer forecase and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days.

"But it's a great place to play spin. It's something we'll weigh up and consider, but we're not in a position to make that call right now."

 

Australian XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc.

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Pat Cummins will skipper Australia in the upcoming Ashes against rivals England after being confirmed as the country's new Test captain.

Cummins is the first fast bowler to captain Australia's men's Test team on a full-time basis after Tim Paine sensationally stood down last week, having been embroiled in a sexting scandal.

Paine had taken over as Australia skipper from Steve Smith in the wake of the sandpaper scandal during the South Africa Test tour in 2018 but he is now set to miss the Ashes altogether after taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future".

The top-ranked bowler in Test cricket, Cummins will have Smith as his vice-captain as Australia turn their attention to the December 8 Ashes opener in Brisbane.

"I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer," Cummins said in a statement on Friday.

"I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim [Paine] has given the group in the past few years.

"With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly knit group.

"This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to."

Australia star Smith returns to the leadership group after he served a two-year ban from holding any leadership role in Australian cricket following the ball-tampering saga three years ago.

Smith was hit with a 12-month suspension for his role in the scandal.

"I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can," Smith said in a statement as Australia prepare to host England, starting at the Gabba next month.

"Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well.

"We are also great friends, as is the whole group. As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other's company.

"There are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond."

Steve Waugh believes Pat Cummins would be the "logical choice" to replace the disgraced Tim Paine as Australia Test captain.

Paine sensationally resigned in shame on Friday and was reduced to tears as he apologised for being embroiled in a sexting scandal.

The wicketkeeper, who is married with two children, revealed the decision was based on an explicit text exchange with a female former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

Vice-captain Cummins is expected to take over from Paine, who will still be available for selection to face England.

Former Australia skipper Waugh endorsed paceman Cummins to step up.

"Pat Cummins is definitely the front-runner to lead the side in Brisbane for the first Test, he's the vice-captain and there is a lot of talk of him taking over Tim Paine sooner or later even without this incident. So, I think he is the logical choice," Waugh told WA Today.

"For the vice-captain, I don't know, someone like a Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain, he's experienced."

Mark Taylor is another ex-Australia captain to back Cummins for the role three years after Smith's reign as skipper ended due to the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

"I think CA [Cricket Australia] will probably want to go for someone fresh and clean. The timing will make it a more comfortable decision for CA to make Pat the captain," Taylor told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It will be hard to go back after another controversy to Steve. I know Pat very well, he's a terrific fella. I think it is harder for a quick bowler to be captain. In terms of leadership he will be very good because he’s a good, solid human being."

Australia batter Travis Head thinks Cummins would be a good appointment.

"Obviously Pat’s been well spoken about, named as vice-captain, it's hard to go past him, or give him the opportunity to," he said.

"He's someone who oozes leadership, not only in the way he presents himself and speaks and the way he goes about things and the way he trains, but also when he's on the field."

Steve Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins are the big names who will return to the Australia set up for the T20 World Cup.

The four stars did not feature in Australia's recent tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh. Aaron Finch's team suffered a 4-1 defeat in the latter series, while they also lost the T20 series to the Windies.

However, Australia's white-ball captain will be able to call on big hitters Smith, Warner and Maxwell, as well as paceman Cummins, for the World Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October and November.

They are joined by Josh Inglis, who has been rewarded for his outstanding form with a first international call-up.

The wicketkeeper-batsman has had a brilliant domestic season in both Australia and England, having been the leading run scorer in county cricket's T20 competition, and takes his place in the 15-man squad.

"Josh has been on our radar for some time with his performances in white ball cricket and more recently in the Vitality Blast where he topped the run charts," selection chair George Bailey said.

"He offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counterattacking ability and power striking. He is a player we are excited about for the future."

Alex Carey is the biggest name to miss out at Inglis' expense, with Matthew Wade the first-choice wicketkeeper.

Nathan Ellis, Dan Christian and Daniel Sams have been named as travelling reserves.

Australia's T20 World Cup squad: 

Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams.

Several top Australian cricketers including Pat Cummins, Marcus Stoinis and David Warner, have withdrawn from the white-ball tour of the West Indies, Cricket Australia has announced.

In addition, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, and Daniel Sams have also requested that they not be considered for the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh for various reasons.

"We are naturally disappointed not to have all players available for the Australian team at this time however the National Selection Panel respects the decisions of those who have opted out of this tour," said head selector Trevor Hohns.

“Steve Smith was unavailable for selection due to an elbow injury and will now be able to use this time to fully recover ahead of the World Cup and home Ashes Series. Steve was disappointed to miss the tour with the decision made on medical grounds. International tours in the time of Covid-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes.

"They also present opportunities for others and, in this case, the chance to push for selection in the Australian men’s T20 World Cup squad later this year and beyond. This is a great chance for these players to make a case for the World Cup and all are considered very real prospects of making that tournament by performing well across these tours.”

The 18-man squad comprises Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria), Ashton Agar (Western Australia), Wes Agar (South Australia), Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia), Alex Carey (South Australia), Dan Christian (New South Wales), Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales), Moises Henriques (New South Wales), Mitchell Marsh (Western Australia), Riley Meredith (Tasmania), Ben McDermott (Tasmania), Josh Philippe (Western Australia), Mitchell Starc (New South Wales), Mitchell Swepson (Queensland), Ashton Turner (Western Australia), Andrew Tye (Western Australia), Matthew Wade (Tasmania), and Adam Zampa (New South Wales).

Australian cricketers, David Warner, and Pat Cummins could be given rest ahead of the West Indies series, as tensions continue to simmer over the latest ball-tampering comments.

The pair were both named as part of a 23- preliminary squad for the July series, which will consist of five T20Is and three ODIs, but recent reports are suggesting that Cricket Australia is contemplating resting the players, in order to give them more time with their families as fissions within the squad have appeared.

The issue came back into the public spotlight after recent comments were made by bowler Collin Bancroft who hinted that the team’s bowlers were aware of the plan to use sandpaper on the ball during the Test against South Africa.

The 2018 incident had led to bans for then Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain Warner and Bancroft.  The team’s bowlers Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Nathan Lyon all issued a statement denying any involvement in the issue but another investigation from Cricket Australia now seems likely.

Several players were left discontented after Warner’s manager, James Erskine recently came out openly to say that the Sandpaper Gate was handled badly and eventually the truth will come out.

 

Australia bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have called for an end to "rumour mongering and innuendo" around the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

Then-captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned by Cricket Australia after all three were implicated in a plot to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper during a 322-run defeat to South Africa at Newlands in March 2018.

Bancroft, who was caught on camera rubbing what was initially thought to be yellow sticky tape on the ball, was punished along with Smith and Warner, the latter as vice-captain also part of Australia's "leadership group".

Head coach Darren Lehman was cleared of any wrong-doing at the time and later stepped down, while the bowling attack of Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Lyon were also said to be in the dark.

In an interview with The Guardian last weekend, Bancroft was asked whether the bowlers knew what was going on and replied: "Uh … yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it's pretty probably self-explanatory."

Cricket Australia invited Bancroft to come forward with any further information after it conducted a full investigation at the time.

In a joint statement published on Starc's website, the Australian bowlers stridently denied any wrongdoing and said it was "time to move on".

"We pride ourselves on our honesty. So it’s been disappointing to see that our integrity has been questioned by some journalists and past players in recent days in regard to the Cape Town Test of 2018," the statement read.

"We have already answered questions many times on this issue, but we feel compelled to put the key facts on the record again.

"We did not know a foreign substance was taken onto the field to alter the condition of the ball until we saw the images on the big screen at Newlands."

Umpires Nigel Long and Richard Illingworth inspected the condition of the ball after Bancroft appeared to tamper with it and did not find enough damage to change it – something Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Lyon chose to highlight.

The statement added: "None of this excuses what happened on the field that day at Newlands. It was wrong and it should never have happened.

"We've all learned valuable lessons and we'd like to think the public can see a change for the better in terms of the way we play, the way we behave and respect the game. Our commitment to improving as people and players will continue.

"We respectfully request an end to the rumour-mongering and innuendo. It has gone on too long and it is time to move on."

India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after an enthralling three-wicket win over Australia in the final Test in Brisbane.

Led by Shubman Gill (91), Rishabh Pant (89 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (56), India incredibly passed their target of 328 late on day five on Tuesday.

It wrapped up a 2-1 series victory and ended Australia's stellar record at the Gabba, where they were unbeaten in their previous 31 Tests.

Pat Cummins (4-55) was the pick of Australia's bowlers, but India managed the third highest successful chase in their history and highest at the Gabba.

Rohit Sharma (7) fell early after edging Cummins behind, but Gill and Pujara blunted the Australia attack with a 114-run partnership.

Gill was the aggressor, while Pujara survived a tight lbw review off Nathan Lyon (2-85) when on just two.

Lyon had Gill caught by Steve Smith at first slip before Cummins removed Ajinkya Rahane following the captain's 22-ball 24.

The second new ball brought a much-needed breakthrough for Australia as Cummins finally got Pujara lbw, but Pant continued to impress.

As the dangerous Pant passed 50, Mayank Agarwal (9) survived following a review for a caught behind, but he scooped Cummins to Matthew Wade at short cover the following ball.

Washington Sundar (22 off 29) came and went, but Pant saw India to a remarkable win.

 

Pant times his run to perfection

His wicketkeeping often questioned, Pant produced the match-winning innings on the final day – and he timed it to perfection.

Just three overs were left when India wrapped up their victory, Pant perfectly choosing when to attack and keeping his composure as late wickets fell to lead India to a famous win.

Pujara highlights India bravery

Pujara's innings was just another example of India's fight throughout the series. The right-hander faced 211 balls in the second innings and he was hit repeatedly, including on the hand and in the head, but continued to battle on.

India were struck hard by injuries and saw Virat Kohli return home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test, which they lost after being dismissed for 36. Rahane stepped up in Melbourne and they managed to frustrate Australia in Sydney before a stunning victory in Brisbane.

Starc's struggles hurt Australia

Seemingly dealing with a hamstring injury on the final day, Mitchell Starc's struggles continued as he finished with figures of 0-75.

The left-arm paceman was particularly expensive and barely troubled India, who managed to contain him throughout the series. Starc finished with 11 wickets at 40.72 for the series, while the tourists also had answers to Lyon (nine wickets at 55.11).

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took crucial wickets as Australia’s bowlers closed on victory on day four of the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

After Hazlewood removed Shubman Gill for 31 runs, Rohit Sharma fell to Cummins for 52 as an embattled India closed on 98-2, needing 309 more runs for an unlikely win.

Australia had declared on 312-6 after Cameron Green showcased some huge hitting in the afternoon session, surging to 84 off 183 balls, including eight fours and four sixes to set up a tense final session for India.

It was a day of Test cricket once again marred by a crowd incident with play delayed for eight minutes before the tea break while six people were ejected by New South Wales police after India's Mohammed Siraj issued a complaint of alleged abuse to the umpires.

Pat Cummins jokingly compared Australia team-mate Josh Hazlewood to Jonty Rhodes after his run out against India on Saturday.

Hazlewood produced a spectacular piece of fielding to dismiss Hanuma Vihari on day three in Sydney, where Australia are well placed.

The paceman moved to his right at mid-off before quickly unleashing a throw while diving, catching Vihari well short of his ground.

Cummins compared the effort to something that might have been produced by Rhodes, the South African considered one of the best fielders of his time.

"Jonty Rhodes! How good was he. Unbelievable," Cummins told Fox Sports.

"Big fella still getting it done after bowling all day. Amazing. I'm sure he'll have that replay up tonight."

The effort drew comparisons to a similar run out by Cummins against India in Adelaide in 2018.

But Cummins had no doubt over whose was better.

"Great run out, well and truly on the podium, but he had fresh legs, he had three stumps to aim at, pretty early in the day, but other than that a pretty good effort I thought," he said.

Cummins took 4-29 as Australia dismissed India for 244 in response to their first-innings total of 338.

The hosts moved to 103-2 at stumps, a lead of 197 runs, to be in position to push for a 2-1 series lead.

Cummins said the SCG pitch, which showed signs of uneven bounce, was becoming difficult to bat on.

"It's a little bit up and down, today's day three, it's probably more like a day four or five wicket," he said.

"You've just got to throw the ego out the door and just bowl straight. It's going to be a slow grind, set some straight fields, and just kind of hope that the odd ball jumps.

"I thought we stuck to that plan really well and it worked out for us."

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