Australian captain Pat Cummins said even David Warner was surprised when he was awarded player of the series honours against South Africa.
The veteran batter was given the nod over teammates Steve Smith, Travis Head and Cummins himself in a call which surprised many following the 2-0 series victory.
Warner was tremendous with his double century at the MCG immediately entering cricket folklore, as he collapsed in the gruelling heat mid-celebration and had to retire hurt, before later coming back into the match and immediately losing his wicket.
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Given the series was still live at that stage Warner’s win was understandable though Head, who went at a brilliant strike rate of 100.94 including a crucial 92 in Brisbane, and Smith, who contributed in all three Tests, were strong contenders.
In contrast to their consistency Warner was out for 0, 3 and 10 in his three other innings across the series.
Cummins was the pick of the Aussie bowlers, most notably in the second innings at the Gabba and late on day four at the SCG, while leading the team to an unbeaten summer.
PLAYER OF THE SERIES CANDIDATES
David Warner – 213 runs at 53.25, HS 200
Steve Smith – 231 runs at 57.75, HS 104
Travis Head – 213 runs at 53.25, HS 92
Pat Cummins – 12 wickets at 16.91, BBI 5-42
Fox Cricket’s series ratings had Head and Cummins tied for best-performing on eight out of 10, with Smith and Warner level on 7.5.
When asked about the decision following the drawn Sydney Test, his skipper Cummins first laughed.
“He (Warner) said it himself – ‘oh, that’s surprising’,” Cummins said.
“I heard someone say it was (very close) between a few different players and Davey got it in the end.”
But Cummins wasn’t too fussed either way, downplaying the importance of the honour.
“Whenever someone plays it’s not the first thing they put on their mantle, player of the series, so it is what it is,” he said.
Originally published as ‘That’s surprising’: Cummins says even Warner didn’t expect player of the series