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Test documentary, season 3 – Pat Cummins’ role in Jonny Bairstow’s Ashes 2023 blast

Pat Cummins’ key role in Jonny Bairstow’s controversial strike at Lord’s that ignited last year’s Ashes series has been revealed while his teammates have admitted they were worried about Alex Carey’s welfare afterwards.

The incident, on the fourth day of the second Test, is a major theme in season three The testa documentary series following the Australian men’s team, premiering on Prime Video on May 24. The Bairstow stumping and fallout have been well documented, but Cummins’ central role in its execution has now been made clear.

“Cam Green was swinging the ball and threw a bumper [Bairstow] he swam under it and he just got out of his seat,” Cummins said. “So I just said to Kez [Carey] ball in front, I said ‘Kez, just throw’.”

Carey was meant to bowl and Bairstow was dismissed by the TV umpire, sparking one of the biggest controversies in recent Ashes history. The Australians were abused by members of the MCC in the Long Room when they left the field to have lunch with players from both sides and then confronted each other in the cafeteria.

“When we went back to the Long Room, it was like we were going to take the soul out of them … sure, yeah, people crossed the line,” Cummins recalled in one of the interviews that included photos inside the dressing room.

Usman Khawaja says: “One of them [the members] … [was] blowing me. I was like ‘nup, you can’t say that’. He said ‘oh, I can say whatever I want to say’, like feeling entitled almost.”

Marnus Labuschagne adds: “One of them was foaming at the mouth. [David Warner] when he goes up the stairs.”

Reflecting on her time in the dressing room, Carey laughs: “Somebody told me to throw it…I don’t know who it was.”

Mitchell Marsh, on the other hand, recalls the incident in the dining room: “I was sitting there like a school kid who shouldn’t be laughing…eating my soup, and I looked up at Jonny and Jonny was staring at us and I was like [mimics trying not to spit out his soup].”

Cummins was adamant at the time that there was no problem with the dismissal between the calls and he should have withdrawn the complaint and he remains so in the documentary. He says: “It was clear, it’s over.”

Australia almost escaped with Ben Stokes being dismissed for a stunning 155 but survived his onslaught to seal a 43-run victory that put them 2-0 up following a heart-stopping Edgbaston win on the margins. by winning the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.

Following the Bairstow attack, Carey endured massive abuse from mobs and social media, the latter of which led to the involvement of Australia’s cybersecurity police.

The documentary shows Carey and his wife Eloise talking in the days and weeks after the incident. “It got bad there for a while,” Carey said. “That was probably the thing that scared me the most, the abuse, the people following you…personal, family, all that stuff.”

Carey’s form dipped after Lord’s and he lost his place in the ODI squad at the start of the World Cup, absent from the documentary. During an uncertain home summer against the West Indies and Pakistan, questions were beginning to be raised about his status, but he silenced all talk with an unbeaten 98 against New Zealand in Christchurch.

“I could see that he was not mentally well and I understand that,” said Steven Smith. “I was worried about him and his health.”

“Everyone projected on Kez and never projected on anyone else. Everything was on Kez,” said Khawaja. “Looking back, I just feel so sorry for him for what he went through at that time and what his family would have gone through to be there at that time. It would have been very difficult.”

The Ashes open the Headingley fold

Having reached the brink of Ashes success, Australia let go in the next three Tests although two days of rain at Old Trafford gave them a result that ensured the urn was retained to go along with their World Test Championship title, as they defeated India I -Oval, starting a three-part series.

At Headingley, the euphoria of Marsh’s comeback century ends soon amid the collapse of Australia’s second innings. Labuschagne admits his slog against Moeen Ali that started the slide was a defining moment.

“In that moment there’s probably one, like, you had it,” he says, “you literally had it.”

“Sometimes you can’t create something out of nothing,” Cummins said, “but it’s not fun when you’re always saying ‘yeah, we were totally different there’.”

Oval football is changing

In the final Test, left wanting for 384, hopes soared that they felt like favorites as Khawaja and Warner hit opening centuries. After that, Khawaja was hit on the helmet by Mark Wood who bounced and the referee felt the need to change the ball. The one that was chosen appeared to be very strong and shiny, and even for a short time on the fourth day before the rain came it did more. The Australians were not impressed.

“It’s almost like a brand new ball they gave them,” said Khawaja. “I was worried.”

Smith says: “This ball is from another planet, it’s like it has a mind of its own…think we could all see clearly from the cameras on the ground that the ball looked completely different.”

In the dressing room photos, Smith is shown laughing at the TV footage. “They don’t even come close,” he said.

However, there is an acknowledgment that Australia could have found a way. “It stopped our momentum when the ball changed,” Mitchell Starc said, “and we weren’t good enough or quick enough to adjust to that.”

England took three quick wickets before Smith and Travis Head put on 95 to see a point, only for Moeen, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad, who was playing his last Test, to run in the innings.

The dominant theme of the documentary is how Australia feels like a better team. “We shouldn’t lose one game,” Labuschagne said at the start of the first episode, although Smith admitted their international record isn’t that strong.

“What England are trying to do is force the opponents to panic. Put all our egos aside, if we make them play our kind of cricket they are not good enough to compete with us,” said Nathan Lyon, whose series ended. calf injury is another important topic, before the first test.

In the end, the concept is still a missed opportunity, especially for players who will never get another chance to tour. “It’s a disappointing word for me,” Smith said. “I think there is unfinished business in this group.”

Cummins adds: “I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved but my competitor is still like, urgh, let’s go a little bit there.”

Still, Khawaja was hopeful that the series would go down in legends. “I think there will be children in the future that we will talk about [the] 2023 Ashes because you had everything. At the end of the day, I have no doubt that cricket is the winner.”

Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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