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Cricket-Australia aim for ‘legacy defining’ moment by completing WTC-Ashes double

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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) – For Australia captain Pat Cummins, Sunday’s crushing victory over India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final signalled a perfect start to what he hopes will be a “legacy defining” stay in England.

It was a case of ‘one down and one more to go’ as just five days after Cummins and his team mates were holding aloft the impressive gold and silver WTC mace at The Oval, the Australians will be back in action on English soil trying to win the miniature 10.5 cm terracotta Ashes urn.

Size really will not matter as Australia are determined to win an Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001 and their comprehensive victory over India in the WTC final has given them the confidence of ending that 22-year wait when they begin their five-test series at Edgbaston on Friday.

“The last couple of months our preparation has been preparing for six test matches over here. We’ve seen it as one big tour with two huge titles to play for and good to tick the first one off (feels great),” Cummins told reporters after Australia completed a 209-run victory over India.

“Whether we like it or not, Ashes tend to define eras and teams. I think the great thing about this final is we feel like we’ve played awesome cricket for the last two years and being there at the end holding the trophy feels really well deserved.

“That’s great for our team and in a way Ashes are bloody hard to win. It’s not going to be easy but if we were to win it, that is legacy defining stuff.”

Their WTC triumph was hailed by the International Cricket Council, who wrote on Twitter: “The all-conquering Australia have now won every ICC Men’s Trophy”.

That bulging trophy cabinet includes five 50-over World Cups, one T20 World Cup, two Champions Trophy prizes and now the WTC mace.

While the shorter formats of cricket keep gaining popularity, with many of the players who featured at The Oval coming to England soon after competing in T20’s IPL, for Cummins winning the WTC was particularly satisfying as he still considers the five-day game as the heart of the sport.

“To make it to the (WTC) final you’ve got to win everywhere in the world. I think this cycle was 20 test matches. I think we might have only lost three or four and out of the 20, the boys were fantastic the whole way through,” he said.

“We adapted well and that’s what makes it so satisfying.”

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Toby Davis)

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