England eye record Ashes win

The urn is long gone but Michael Clarke’s men risk suffering an ignominy that has befallen no other Australian team in Ashes history.

England have never recorded more than three Test wins in a home series against Australia.

There is nothing dour or defensive about the current side mentor by former NSW coach Trevor Bayliss.

You can be sure they will be pushing for a slice of history when the fifth Test starts on Thursday at The Oval.

“We want to win 4-1, we don’t want to finish on a downer,” paceman Steve Finn told ESPNcricinfo.

“That would be such a disappointing way to end what has been such an exciting series.

“To make people proud is a great feeling and I think if we were to win 4-1, which is very much what we are focused on, hopefully we can make them even more proud.”

England boast an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series, having recorded crushing wins in Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham.

Jimmy Anderson, who missed the fourth Test due to a side strain, bowled on Monday as he seeks to prove his fitness for the dead rubber.

On top of the historical taint that would come with defeat, Australia will cede second spot on the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings if they lose again.

England will leap from No.6 to No.2 on the Test ladder with victory at The Oval, while they will climb to third if Australia grab a win or draw at The Oval.

Finn didn’t want to get carried away with talk of the future, but noted his side were desperate to “avenge” their 5-0 loss in the 2013-14 series.

“It was deeply embarrassing being over there for that,” he said.

“I didn’t even play a part in the series but I was there watching every day and it hurt to be beaten like that.

“Six months ago no one stopped me, no one said hello – other than people hanging off scaffolding abusing me.

“People (now) stop you and say ‘we’re proud of you’ and it’s lovely – that’s what going out there and doing it is all about.”


*4 in 1911-12 (away)

*4 in 1928-29 (away)

*4 in 1932-33 (away)

*5 in 1978-79 (away)

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