Ironman Cummins cements his spot amongst the elite
Pat Cummins finishes Ashes tour with 29 wickets taking his career tally to an Australian record after 25 Tests
Sam Ferris at The Oval
15 September 2019, 10:14 PM AEST
Pace spearhead Pat Cummins finished his Ashes on Sunday, capping off a brilliant series with 29 wickets to solidify his position as the world's No.1 Test bowler.
Cummins claimed 2-67 in England's second innings to take his series tally to 29 at 19.63 runs apiece, the most wickets in Ashes series by an Australian fast bowler on foreign soil since Glenn McGrath captured 32 in 2001, the same year Australia last won a series in England.
The right-armer's prolific series takes his career wickets tally to 123, the most by any Australian fast bowler after 25 Tests.
Cummins eclipsed the mark set by lightning quick Jeff Thomson, who captured 119 wickets in his first 25 Tests.
Australia coach Justin Langer said it might not be "humanly possible" for one of his quicks to play all five Ashes Tests given the crammed schedule and tight turnarounds between matches, but Cummins proved to be a wicket-taking "machine" this tour.
Not only did he feature in all five Tests, Cummins bowled 211 overs, the most by an Australian fast bowler in a Test series this century, beating McGrath's 209.1 in the 2006-07 Ashes on home soil.
The epic effort is even more remarkable considering the 26-year-old played in every match of Australia's World Cup campaign and the four-day intra-squad match in Southampton that preceded the Ashes.
Among all his skills and abilities, Cummins' consistency was truly special this campaign.
His pace did not drop despite the mammoth workload, and his line and length, even when pitching short, was immaculate for virtually the entire series.
That relentlessness saw him take three or more wickets in eight of his 10 bowling innings this series without taking a five-wicket haul, which is a record for the most wickets taken in a series without capturing a 5-fa.
In the first Test at Edgbaston, Cummins collected his 100th Test wicket in just his 21st match, the second fastest Australian paceman to do so behind Charles Turner, who reached triple figures in his 17th Test in 1895.
Cummins' resilience is remarkable given his wretched run with injury at the start of his career.
Following his dramatic Test debut in 2011 – where he was named player of the match as an 18-year-old – Cummins had to wait six years due to various injuries to play his second Test, against India in March 2017.
But now his body is adapted to the rigours of international cricket, Cummins is Australia's marathon man in all formats.
Since his Test return in Mach 2017, no fast bowler has bowled more than Cummins' 1,177 overs across Tests, ODIs and T20s at the highest level.
Cummins' new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood, who also enjoyed an excellent series, has been in awe of his durable and dangerous teammate.
"He's a machine really," Hazlewood said in Manchester.
"He had all that bad with injury through his teens, early 20s and then he's come out the other side.
"He's always been a great athlete, I guess it was just a matter of time before that body hardened up and his bones hardened up.
"As a power and strength athlete, he's fantastic and he's got great endurance as well.
"He's pretty much the all-round package.
"He's such a great athlete and I just hope it continues for him."
Most prolific Aussie quicks after 25 Tests
Age: 26 | Balls: 5,667 | Wickets: 123 | Ave: 21.45 | SR: 46.0
Age: 27 | Balls: 6,007 | Wickets: 119 | Ave: 25.44 | SR: 50.4
Age: 26 | Balls: 6,463 | Wickets: 116 | Ave: 24.35 | SR: 55.7
Age: 30 | Balls: 6,689 | Wickets: 114 | Ave: 19.44 | SR: 58.6
Age: 27 | Balls: 6,093 | Wickets: 110 | Ave: 28.68 | SR: 55.3