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Paine's promotion to captaincy hasn't impacted Aussie ruthlessness: Cummins
The Ashes

Paine's promotion to captaincy hasn't impacted Aussie ruthlessness: Cummins

It's a new captain, it's a new life. Things have changed since Tim Paine assumed captaincy in the aftermath of the ball-tampering fiasco last year in South Africa, but it has not impaired their competitiveness, claims Pat Cummins.

The 26-year-old vice-captain, who went to France for a break after the World Cup semi-final loss to champions England, told The Guardian about Paine's appointment as captain which forced them to rethink on how they were going to approach the game. 

Former captain Steve Smith and his then vice-captain David Warner were handed 12-month suspensions by Cricket Australia, with opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, who applied sandpaper to the ball, getting banned for nine months. 

The trio have served their sentences and are now included in the squad for the five-Test Ashes series which will inaugurate at Edgbaston as the tourists look to seal their first series win in England in 18 years.

"It's probably the first time where we've really had to sit back and think about how we wanted to play," said Cummins over Paine's appointment as captain.

"For me personally, going to university (he has a Business degree) or having a few pre-seasons trying to recover from injury, it's just knowing that you can't judge yourself on purely cricket, because if you do then you're forever riding this rollercoaster.

"Definitely taking a step back gives you time to actually think."

'Ability to come hard at the opposition'

Cummins, who has recovered from several years of recurring injuries to emerge as the spearhead of the Australian attack, reminded the critics about his side's ability to come hard and added no one should doubt a wee bit about their intensity.

"The way I've always played is to get into the fight," he said.

"This is a side that's really hungry, many of them in their first Ashes, their first away Test.

"For me it's about remembering what I did well last time against England, try to adjust to English conditions, but I just want to really make a mark.

"It doesn't get much bigger for a Test player than an Ashes, and you never know if it's going to be your last. So make the most of it."

'Dukes ball has a bit of swing'

The England and Wales Cricket Board have opted to use the older version of Dukes ball which has a more pronounced seam, giving the bowlers an upper edge in the Ashes.

"There always seems to be sideways movement and the Dukes ball, even if it goes soft, still has a bit of swing," he said.

"It's not 40 degrees so you can run in all day Over here you can always sense a wicket coming."

Australians are famous for sledging to their advantage and Cummins believes one cannot stay away from displaying emotions.

"Sport's quite emotional and there will definitely be times on the field when those emotions show through, but it's about trying to manage how we show them."