‘It’s quite rare you get that’: Fantastic four’s record-breaking series

‘s fab four created history and are now ready to dethrone South Africa’s vaunted quicks as the best attack in the world after ending England’s Ashes misery.
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Celebrations were in full swing in the n dressing room by the time heavy rain swept across the SCG on Monday after Steve Smith’s men reclaimed the urn in style with another thumping victory.

The ns secured an emphatic 4-0 series victory by hammering the visitors by an innings and 123 runs – their second innings victory this summer.

Pat Cummins began his debut campaign on home soil with doubts he would last the distance but finished as strongly as he started by cleaning up the tail in a man-of-the-match performance.

Although Smith has been widely hailed as the difference between the two sides, the impact of ‘s bowlers cannot be understated.

Smith would not be drawn into comparisons with ‘s attack of four years ago, which rode on the back of Mitchell Johnson.

For the first time in a five-match series, four bowlers claimed every wicket to fall, highlighting the unrelenting pressure which suffocated England’s batsmen.

Whereas Joe Root could only throw the ball with confidence to James Anderson, Smith had the rare luxury of knowing each of his bowlers could be depended upon to get the job done.

So even was the spread, all four of ‘s frontline bowlers claimed more than 20 wickets with only two bags of five across the series.

“It showed the guys have bowled together as a group, bowled in partnerships and for one another and helped us take the 80 wickets that we needed to win the four Test matches,” Smith said.

“I think all the bowlers did an exceptional job.”

How Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood fare compared to Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander will be a leading storyline in South Africa.

Seven years ago, it was in Ricky Ponting’s final series as captain which copped the wrath of an English bowling unit led by Anderson. This time the roles were reversed.

“When you’ve got that [trust] you know as a bowler you won’t be bowling a huge amount of overs, short spells and you stay fairly fresh throughout the day and you can attack when you come on,” Anderson said.

“It’s quite rare you get that, I think. We had it in 2010/11 but it’s not very often you get all four bowlers in the form they’ve had this series.”

Keeping ‘s three star quicks together for all but one Test has been a triumph for Cricket ‘s medical staff. Their next challenge will be ensuring they are in prime condition for the four-Test series in South Africa starting March 1.

With James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile injured, do not have readymade express quicks if any of Cummins, Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood breaks down. The trio will not play all five of the one-day internationals, so as to give them time to recover after a series of attrition.

“It has been great to have these three on the park. When I said before so much work and prep has gone into this, it was about getting these guys on the park,” Smith said.

“They are going to make the England guys feel uncomfortable and they did, Nathan Lyon too. The attack has been outstanding. Hopefully, they can turn up in South Africa and do the job there too.”

Cummins, who returned to Test cricket last year six and a half years after his debut, surprised even himself to play all five Tests

“I couldn’t have asked for much more,” Cummins said. “At the Gabba, I thought the SCG was a long way away.

“As a kid there is so much hype around every [Ashes] game and you watch every ball. I’ve loved every minute of it.”

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