Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has brushed aside those criticising Pat Cummins' captaincy in the Ashes, with former cricketer Darren Berry even calling for him to step down after the series. Berry was McDonald's captain in Victoria and later on his coach at South Australia. Berry was not pleased with short ball tactics deployed by Cummins, calling them maddening and unwatchable.
Cummins registered his worst Test of his career, finishing with 1 for 129. Rain washed out most parts of Day Four and the entire Day Five as the match ended in a draw allowing Australia to retain the Ashes.
"I was across those comments from Darren. They were most interesting," McDonald said ahead of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval, starting Thursday (July 27)
"What I would say is leadership takes on all different shapes and forms. And if we're living and dying in the world of tactics only, then I think it's fair and reasonable to critique some of the execution and tactics that we implemented.
"But to go as far as suggesting that the captain resign post-series I think is a bit far-fetched. There are opinions that we respect and opinions that we don't."
Australia's failure to execute the short ball strategy allowed England opener Zak Crawley to cut loose and end up with 189 off just 181 deliveries, which set the tone for the innings. A win or draw at The Oval will see Australia win their first series in England in 22 years. McDonald however insists that Australia have been the better side across the four Tests.
"We'll revisit those plans and the way that we go about it and the personnel that we pick to execute those plans," McDonald said.
"It was a disappointing three days or so. We're not going to shy away from that. We own it.
"The way that Zak came out and put pressure on us, you've got to give some credit to the opposition as well. But this team's played some great cricket over the last eight months. So to judge us on three days would be very harsh."