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'Boland is now my favourite player' - Cummins and Australia savour WTC win

"The way this group has played for the last two years - or probably longer - is a credit to everyone," Mitchell Starc says

Scott Boland and Nathan Lyon led the way with the ball as Australia dismissed India for 234 in their defence of 443, sealing their first World Test Championship (WTC) title on the fifth morning at The Oval. The WTC triumph means Australia are now the only team to have won at least one of each: five ODI World Cups, two ODI Champions Trophies, one T20 World Cup, and now the World Test Championship. Here's how Australia's captain and his players reacted to their 209-run win.
Pat Cummins, Australia captain: "We made the most of [losing the toss]. We were certainly going to have a bowl. But yeah, the way Travis [Head] and Smithy [Steven Smith] put on the partnership, we saw a little bit of comfort after a pretty nervy morning. He [Head] has been brilliant throughout this whole campaign. It started with the Ashes a couple of years ago. He just puts the pressure right back on the bowlers, and suddenly you're thinking about how to contain runs rather than trying to take wickets. He was fantastic. We left day one feeling like we were on top of the game, mainly down to those two guys. Yeah, [our bowling attack was] fantastic. Scotty Boland is now my favourite player. He always has been, but he just continues to be my favourite. Yeah, everyone just did their role really well. Again, coming off a bit of a break for most of us, when it counted everyone kind of switched on and got a key breakthrough. We'll savour this [win] for a few days before we turn our attention [to the Ashes]. [The interest in Test cricket is] huge. You ask anyone in our change room - it's obviously our favourite format. We grew up watching Test cricket. We love it. It challenges you in more ways than any other format. And I think when you're winning in this format, you get the most satisfaction. It's here to stay. We love playing, and you saw the turnout this week. It's been fantastic."
Travis Head, Player of the Match: "You come here and you get a week and you have to prep and it's probably hard to imagine, but a lot of hard work [has been put in] over two years - so it's been nice. Yeah, that [playing positively] has been the approach for those two years, I guess. I wanted to be able to be proactive and score for them, and then when they bowl in nice areas, be good enough to stay out there for long periods of time. I was tested throughout the whole innings. I knew that coming in, so had an eye for what plans are going to come. So, it's nice to be out there for a period of time as well as [bat] with Smudge [Steven Smith]. It was, it was an amazing week. I guess I've always had the confidence. It's probably been [about] going out there and expressing that, it took me some time, and everyone goes through those periods of their blueprint and first-class cricket and Test cricket and what needs to change. I've always been open to change; always been open for learning and always been committed to knowing I have to do things differently as you step up. That's somewhat of a blueprint and it's not always going to work. Will try to be as consistent as I possibly can for the team on field [and] off field. It's nice to work out in such a big game and hopefully, that continues in the next couple of months. Last night, there were a lot of what-ifs, and we came this morning knowing exactly what you said: [in] the last two years we've had some moments [where] we've had to grind out. You look over a lot of the Test matches over the last few years we've come across moments where we've sort of bedded down and doubled down on our plans. We were able to do that again today and [we] double down on them and reap the rewards."
Mitchell Starc: "We were patient enough and the wickets came to us. They're a quality line-up, and we had to be patient to get those breakthroughs and the whole bowling attack today was fantastic. Yeah, you need that little run of the green [Steven Smith's catch to dismiss Virat Kohli] and to have him in the slips is fantastic. He pulled off another stunner along with Greeny [Cameron Green] through the game. So, those little moments there can tend to be the difference and particularly to get the wicket of Kohli, that was fantastic for us and really set us on our way. Particularly, the way he [Ajinkya Rahane] played in the first innings with [Shardul] Thakur as well; they put [up] a nice partnership, and we knew we couldn't just take the foot off the gas there. Look, we stuck with it and stayed patient enough. We knew if we stuck to our areas long enough, we could get chances and fortunately enough, we got them quickly. Yeah, this group has been fantastic for a long time and we ourselves got a few goals along the way, particularly the last series in India, which didn't go our way, but this [WTC final] was the next in line. I mean the way this group has played for the last two years or probably longer is a credit to everyone who has taken part in this wider group - players and staff - and we will enjoy this together this afternoon and then push on for the Ashes. Obviously, just coming off that Test series [in India], not too long ago, both sides are very familiar with one another. Obviously, a number of guys [play] in the IPL as well. So, to play each other on a neutral territory…I think it has been a fantastic Test match and fantastic cricket to watch. We're going to enjoy this moment as a group and obviously, Nathan [Lyon] is going to enjoy himself too."
Scott Boland: "Yeah, it was good fun. It was nice to come over here for our bowling group and take 20 wickets. Probably hit similar areas all the time and there was sort of a little bit of bounce outside the off stump, so tried to exploit that. Yeah, it [dismissing Kohli] was nice. Pretty good to get Kohli out and get two [wickets] in an over. Smudge [Steven Smith] today and Green took some blinders throughout the game as well, so nice to get the confidence. I wouldn't say that [taking wickets for fun]. I've been playing state cricket for Victoria for about 12 years, so I've done some hard work and it's nice to play international cricket and get some wickets. Yeah, it [the Ashes series] should be good, next Friday we will start. I'm really looking forward to it."
Steven Smith: "Yeah, I think it's a great achievement for this group. We've played some really good cricket over the last two years to firstly get to this situation to play a final against India, who have also been exceptional over the last two years. So, I think it's fitting to be in this game and I think the way we played this week was outstanding. On the first day, we just got us into a nice position and Trav [Travis Head] obviously played exceptionally well and I watched him do his work at the other end. I sort of played second fiddle and from that first day, we sort of controlled the game, I suppose, and there were probably glimpses where we allowed them to come back in with a few unforced errors. But all throughout, we felt we were in reasonable control. We know how good Virat is. He's an exceptional player and he's very dangerous, particularly when chasing totals. I thought the spell this morning from Scott Boland was outstanding. He beat the bat a couple of times and he was hitting great areas. To fortunately take the edge and for the catch to sit safely in the hands was nice and we knew we needed that wicket. And then to get [Ravindra] Jadeja as well in the same over as well was a huge moment. He has also scored a lot of runs against us recently, so that set us up for the morning and then things happened pretty quickly from there."