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Cricket-Australia’s WTC win draws muted response ahead of Ashes

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(Reuters) – Australian media congratulated Pat Cummins’ side on Monday following their World Test Championship final win over India but with an Ashes series against England looming the celebrations remained somewhat muted.

Australia eased to victory at the Oval on Sunday to claim the title for the first time and give them momentum heading into the opening Ashes test on Friday.

Chief cricket writer Ben Horne said in The Australian that the team deserved praise for handing India “an old fashioned thrashing”.

“But deep down they know that the main prize is still to be won, because the brutal truth is this fine accomplishment from Pat Cummins’ men will soon be forgotten if Australia doesn’t win the Ashes.”

The performance of bowler Scott Boland, who claimed three second-innings wickets including that of Virat Kohli, caught the eye of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Dean Bilton.

“The single greatest Australian cricket story of the past two years, and a bowler whose knack of conjuring momentary magic inside spells of sustained excellence is shared with the true bowling greats of the game,” wrote Bilton.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Daniel Brettig hailed the team culture instilled by Cummins and the contrast to the attitude before the infamous 2018 ball-tampering episode in South Africa.

“Five years since Newlands, Australia’s supremacy has been achieved with an almost complete absence of rancour or sledging,” he wrote.

“The bluff and bluster of past generations has been replaced by the calm precision of Boland, the batting aggression of (Travis) Head, and the broad smile of a very proud Cummins.”

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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