Australia Test captain Pat Cummins said they need to win matches in challenging overseas conditions to justify the tag of the No.1 team in the world.
On Friday, Australia won the first Test against Sri Lanka by 10 wickets at the Galle International Stadium to continue their unbeaten run in the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle and retain their position on top of the table.
You’ve got to be winning overseas Tests: Pat Cummins
Australia wrapped the game inside three days with spinners dictating the proceedings. After resuming the third day with their first innings, Australia managed to take a lead of 109 runs. Nathan Lyon, Travis Head and Mitchell Swepson collectively bowled sharp to bowl the hosts out for 113 in the second innings.
All David Warner took was just four balls to chase the minuscule target of five runs, the Australian opener smashed a four and a six off Ramesh Mendis to finish the game.
“A couple of new words we’re using about our approach is being proactive and brave. We saw some really clear methods from all the batters. They might have been individually a bit different, but you saw everyone being really proactive and putting pressure back on the bowlers. You’d normally talk about it in one-day or T20 cricket. But I think that’s the style over here that’s needed,” Cummins said after the match.
“Embracing everything about the conditions, that’s been a big one for us. In the past, you can get caught up in conditions that aren’t like Australia, but if you want to be the number one Test team in the world, you’ve got to be winning overseas.
“So I think everyone – the experienced guys finding new shots, Mitchell Starc working on the reverse swing, Nathan Lyon coming up with a few new balls. There is so much appetite to learn and be successful on these wickets,” he added.
I wouldn’t change Nathan Lyon for anyone: Pat Cummins
Australian off-spinner Lyon picked nine wickets in the game with his first-innings spell of 5/90 taking his tally to 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket and second in the island nation since making his Test debut at the same venue.
Lyon surpassed the likes of Sir Richard Hadlee, Rangana Herath and Kapil Dev to jump to the 10th spot in the all time leading wicket-takers of Test cricket.
“I wouldn’t change Lyon for anyone. He’s gone into the top 10 wicket-takers of all time. And you saw him out there. He’s unplayable for left or right-handers. Sometimes out here, bounce for spinners is spoken about as something that’s not desirable, but he has shown here with that bounce; and he was unplayable,” Cummins said.
“His stamina as well – you give him the ball from one end and say see you at the end of the day,” he concluded.
Australia will play the second Test against Sri Lanka at the same venue on July 8.