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Pat Cummins torched after day three of fourth Test, Old Trafford

Another horror day of Ashes cricket for Australia has led to a shock suggestion that Pat Cummins’ captaincy won’t survive the series from a former player and coach.

The Poms continued to batter the Aussie bowlers early on day three of the Fourth Test to post a mammoth first innings total of 592. Australia finished the day 4/113, still 162 runs from making England bat again.

It was England’s first score of more than 500 in a home Ashes Test since 1985 and the run rate of 5.49 was the third highest ever by a team that scored 500-plus.

That was only part of the unwanted history inflicted on Cummins’ side. Six of England’s top seven made at least 50 – the first time the Poms have done that since 1930.

Bairstow blitz silences critics on Day 3 | 01:08

Jonny Bairstow had a field day before cruelly being left stranded on 99 not out as Ben Stokes (51) and Harry Brook (61) joined day two heroes Zak Crawley (189), Moeen Ali (54) and Joe Root (84) in raising their bats in an absolute Bazball bloodbath.

It left former Victorian state captain Darren Berry fuming as Australia persisted with a short-ball approach while Bairstow was smashing them all over the park during a humiliating 66-run 10th wicket stand with Jimmy Anderson.

England's Jonny Bairstow raises his bat to the crowd as he leaves the field unbeaten on 99. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
England’s Jonny Bairstow raises his bat to the crowd as he leaves the field unbeaten on 99. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP

“This is unwatchable,” Berry tweeted. “This is absolutely insane to anyone watching this s**t with half a clue about the game. Enough is enough now … keep banging em in lads WTF.”

When Cameron Green finally ended the misery by trapping Anderson LBW, Berry tweeted: “Well knock me over with a feather, a fast ball at the stumps to the No. 11 gets him out. I’m shocked. What a circus. Never seen anything like this ever.”

Former Tasmanian batsman Jamie Cox was also exasperated. “England have finally caused Australia to lose their collective minds. Bowling for batters to mishit catches into the outfield?” he tweeted.

Aussie great Merv Hughes also questioned who was behind the approach, declaring the fast bowling unit needed to “make a stronger stance in the team meetings”.

Wood dismantles Australia on day 3 | 01:02

But the final word went to Berry, as he made a bombshell prediction about Cummins’ future.

“Pat Cummins is a magnificent cricketer no doubt but remember this msg — he will resign from the captaincy after the Ashes series. The question is do they go back to Smudge or move forward to Head or Marsh?”

Josh Hazlewood (5/126 from 27 overs), Mitchell Starc (2/137 from 25) and Cummins (1/129 from 23) all tonned up with the ball as England proved Bazball could work against the world’s best pace attack.

It was the most runs the Aussie captain had conceded in a Test innings and they came at an historically bad economy rate for an Aussie quick.

Australia began its second innings with a deficit of 275 runs and lost both openers early before Mark Wood ripped the heart out of the visitors by removing Steve Smith and Travis Head late in the day.

Much like the first innings, David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Smith all got starts but failed to convert.

Even the weather predictions were going against Australia with new expectations the rain may stay away for around four hours on day four. Conditions are expected to be even better for play on day five.

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