Aussie whacked England retain the Ashes

Australia's crushing win over England in the third Test to retain the Ashes is "what dreams are made of", says captain Pat Cummins.

The hosts beat England by an innings and 14 runs to gain an unassailable 3-0 lead in the the five-match series.

England were bowled out for 68 in just 82 minutes on day three at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"Winning early on day three doesn't happen at the MCG – it's a fantastic result," Cummins said

"It's what dreams are made of, how we played. It's the first Ashes victory for a lot of guys and it doesn't just feel like a 3-0 victory, it feels like we're really setting ourselves up for the next few years as well.

"It hasn't fully hit me but when I think of what it means, I think more of what it means for us as a group of players. This really consolidates that we are a really good, strong cricket side."Fast bowler Cummins took over the captaincy after Tim Paine stepped down in November over a historical investigation into sexually explicit texts to a female colleague.

"Losing Painey, that was not ideal," Cummins said. "We felt for Tim. We wish he was there playing alongside us – but as soon as that wasn't the case, we had a job to do."

Having led Australia to a nine-wicket win over England in the series opener in Brisbane, Cummins missed the second Test – a 275-run victory in Adelaide – after being deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive for Covid-19.

Cummins returned for the third thumping third Test win, and praised Test debutant Scott Boland after the 32-year-old seamer took 6-7 in four overs in England's second-innings collapse.

Boland, just the second man of Aboriginal origin to play Test cricket for Australia, was selected after the hosts decided not to risk seamer Jhye Richardson, who was carrying a slight leg injury.

"I thought it was a really brave call by the selectors to bring in Scotty for this game. Full credit. They've made the right call," Cummins said.

"When you bring in an experienced player like Scotty, they're so valuable – not only for their on-field performance but because you know they're very level; they've been through highs and lows.

"Scott is confident in his own ability and just brilliant around the squad. We knew he was going to do a great job for us at the MCG but we're probably surprised that he took six for seven."

The result means Australia have retained the Ashes after just 12 days of cricket, with the fourth Test to begin in Sydney on 4 January.

 

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