Pat Cummins says his Australia side will be defined by how they fare during the Ashes summer as they look to claim a series victory in England for the first time since 2001.
Australia have won the previous three Ashes series down under, including 4-0 under Cummins’ captaincy in 2021/22, and drew 2-2 in England in 2019 when Tim Paine was in charge.
Cummins is looking to become the first Australia skipper since Steve Waugh 22 years ago to win an Ashes series on the road and is well aware that for some of his squad it could be their last chance.
The Ashes – Live
Friday 16th June 9:30am
David Warner, 36, plans to quit Test cricket in January, while Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Usman Khawaja are among the players in their early-to-mid 30s.
The Ashes starts on Friday June 16 but before then Australia face India in the World Test Championship final at The Kia Oval, a game you can watch live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Wednesday (10.30am first ball).
When asked whether this summer would determine how Australia’s players are remembered, Cummins said: “Probably, whether we like it or not. These big series are where you look back at cricket teams and judge their performances. It’s an exciting opportunity for us.
“We have spoken a lot about having a settled squad, a settled team and no doubt this will be the last Ashes away tour for a few of the guys. It is all ahead of us.”
Lee encourages England to keep on attacking
England’s attacking brand of cricket under coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes has yielded 11 wins from 13 Tests after last week’s innings victory over Ireland at Lord’s, with the team also beating South Africa, India, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee says that positivity should not be reined in despite Stokes’ side coming up against a formidable visiting seam attack.
Lee told Sky Sports News: “England had been in their shell compared to the stellar, aggressive cricket they are playing now. My advice to them would be to go out and play the exact same style of cricket.
“It’s entertaining, it’s fun to watch and I think it will really give the Aussies a Test. I’m not saying England will win this series but going back to negative, defensive cricket would not be the way to go.
“England have taken down some big teams and good bowling attacks over the last year or so. They have to go out there and play with freedom. I would not be changing a thing.”
Watch The Ashes live on Sky Sports Cricket across June and July. The opening Test, at Edgbaston, starts on Friday June 16, with build-up from 9.30am ahead of the first ball at 11am.