Pat Cummins' tactical call questioned as England shock Australia

The Aussie captain was left without many answers on day four.

Pat Cummins speaks to Todd Murphy and Cummins looks on after the Ashes loss.
Pat Cummins (pictured right) came under fire for not using Todd Murphy (pictured fart let) in the second innings at Headingley. (Getty Images)

Aussie captain Pat Cummins has come under fire for his use of the bowling attack in Australia's loss at Headingley after Todd Murphy finished the second innings having bowled two overs. England produced a brilliant cricket comeback as Harry Brooks scoring 75 on day four to help his team chase down 251 in exactly 50 overs.

Australia were able to get to England's tail with more than 50 runs to spare after Mitchell Starc once again ripped through the middle order. However, Australia weren't able to capitalise on day four.

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Cummins has come under question a number of times throughout the series for his tactics towards the end of an innings and once again the cricket world was left to question his use of his spinner.

Murphy came in for the injured Nathan Lyon and took 1-36 in the first innings with Australia on top. England reduced their target to only 251 in their second innings run chase.

And with the pressure on the 22-year-old handed the ball for the final over before lunch on day four, before gaining one other single over when England needed 30 for victory. England cruised to victory in the end with Cummins questioned to why he didn't mix-up the bowling attack.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor questioned why Murphy had not been used when Australia needed to change the attack."I'm a little surprised we didn't use Murphy a little earlier," Taylor said on Channel Nine commentary.

Pat Cummins (pictured left) has come under fire for his captaincy in the final innings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Pat Cummins (pictured left) has come under fire for his captaincy in the final innings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Legendary Sri Lankan batter Kumar Sangakkara also thought Murphy could have been introduced earlier in a roll of a dice tactic. “I was a bit surprised they held their spin back for so long. They should have brought him in a lot earlier to see what would happen on this pitch," he said on Sky Sports.

Pat Cummins defends Todd Murphy call

Despite the cricket greats questioning Cummins, the captain said the conditions didn't suit the offspinner. "It was mainly just conditions-based," Cummins said.

"Didn't quite spin as much as we thought it would. And probably didn't bowl as many overs as we thought we would as well. "We bowled under 60 both innings. I would have liked to get Toddy into the game a bit more. But I'm sure (the fourth Test in) Manchester will be a bit more spin-friendly."

Despite his defence, fans were left frustrated over Cummins' rotation of the bowlers.

Cummins was also called into question again for his defensive field when England were six wickets down at the time and their tail on the brink of being exposed. "I'll have another look at it and see if there's anything we might do differently," Cummins said.

"I still felt like with the ball, there was a little bit in there. "So we were happy to give away a single but still felt like we left our catchers in, the two or three slips where you felt like you were going to take your wickets anyway.

"Overall, I thought we handled it not bad. You might look at a few different ways to go about it, but I felt like we made some decent decisions out there."

with AAP

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