Pat Cummins could not have asked for a better start to his stint as Australia’s Test captain as the fast bowler picked up a 5-wicket haul in the first innings of the first Ashes Test against England at the Gabba. Cummins took 5/38 as England were bundled out for 147 inside two sessions of the series opener.
It was baptism by fire for Pat Cummins who took over from Tim Paine as Australia’s Test captain ahead of the much-anticipated Ashes series at home. However, Cummins showed no signs of nerves as he went on with his job of being the strike bowler for Australia.
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Cummins bowled 13.1 overs and picked up 5 wickets, including that of Ben Stokes and a well-set Haseeb Hameed. In fact, Cummins’s first scalp as Australia’s Test captain was Stokes who was squared up by one that bounced a bit higher and left the left-hander.
With the 5-wicket haul, Pat Cummins became only the 2nd Australia captain after George Giffen in 1984 to pick a 5-wicket haul in first Test as skipper. Cummins also became the first captain to pick up a 5-wicket haul in an Ashes Test since Bob Willis in 1982.
Meanwhile, Cummins also joined an elite list of captains who have taken a 5-wicket haul on their first day in the top job. Notably, it was also Cummins’s first 5-wicket haul in Tests against England.
5-19 Charles Aubrey Smith – England v South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1889
5-35 George Allen in England v India at Lord’s in 1936
7-52 Imran Khan – Pakistan vs England at Birmingham in 1982
5-38 Pat Cummins – Australia v England at Brisbane in 2021
Pat Cummins also became the first Australian captain Richie Benaud in 1962 to pick up a 5-wicket haul in Ashes and the first captain since Michael Clarke in 2012 to get 5 wickets in an innings.
Cummins gets standing ovation from Gabba crowd
Cummins led his team off the ground holding the Kookaburra ball aloft, enjoying a huge ovation from the Gabba crowd.
His pace colleague Josh Hazlewood ran forward from the deep to take a terrific low catch to boost his tally with the final wicket of Chris Woakes (21), who was reduced to desperate slogging.
Hazlewood did the same favour for Cameron Green, catching a rash pull by Ollie Pope (35) to hand the seam-bowling all-rounder his first test wicket.
England made a disastrous start after Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat on a grassy pitch, with Rory Burns becoming the first player dismissed with the opening ball of an Ashes series in 85 years, bowled around his legs by a searing Mitchell Starc delivery.
Root went for a duck, caught behind by debutant wicketkeeper Alex Carey off the bowling of Hazlewood, as England slumped to 59 for four at lunch.