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Brisbane, Dec 8 (IANS) Pat Cummins has made a dream start to his career as a Test captain with a five-wicket haul on day one of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba on Wednesday. On a day when Australia's fast bowlers ripped through England's batting order and skittled them for just 147 in 50.1 overs, Cummins shined the brightest with 5/38 in 13.1 overs.
Captaining the Australian team in the Ashes was baptism by fire for Cummins, especially after he lost the toss at The Gabba. But the 28-year-old showed zero nerves as he went about his job of being the strike bowler for Australia.
He first dismissed Ben Stokes, playing his first competitive cricket match since July, by forcing him to fend a rising delivery with extra bounce to Marnus Labuschagne at third slip.
After lunch, Cummins struck in the very first over as a well-set Haseeb Hameed was drawn forward and nicked to Steve Smith at second slip. After the fall of Jos Buttler and Ollie Pope, Cummins didn't take much time in getting the better of the last three England wickets to grab a maiden five-wicket haul against England on his first day as Test captain.
Cummins has now become the first Australian captain to take a five-wicket haul in an Ashes Test since Richie Benaud in 1962. He also became the first captain to take a five-wicket haul in an Ashes Test since Bob Willis did so in 1982/83.
Cummins became the first captain to take a five-wicket haul as a captain in Australia since India's great leg-spinner Anil Kumble in 2008. The last time a fast-bowling captain took a five-wicket haul in Australia was West Indies great Courtney Walsh in 1997.
Cummins led his team off the ground, holding the Kookaburra ball aloft as a huge crowd at The Gabba stood up to give a standing ovation to the 47th Test captain of Australia leading England's demolition job before rain stopped the proceedings.
For now, Cummins has enjoyed a scintillating start to his Test captaincy career.
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