Cricket

Preview: England look for final blow in Ashes

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England go into the final Ashes Test of the series knowing victory would mean they are the first England side to beat Australia 4-0 in the history of Test Match cricket.

The Kia Oval is the venue where play will get under way at 11am on Wednesday with the hosts expecting to make one change with either Chris Tremlett or Steven Finn replacing the injured Tim Bresnan.

The Yorkshire bowler was an unsung hero at Chester-le-Street where he bowled in tandem with Stuart Broad to help England to a 74 run victory, meaning they now lead 3-0 in the five game series. Bresnan has since been ruled out for the rest of the summer with a stress fracture of his back which will give a chance to another member of the squad.

Tremlett and Finn are joined by Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan and Warwickshire bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes in a 14-man squad with Surrey’s Tremlett the most likely to fill Bresnan’s void.

Australia have already revealed their team with 23-year-old all-rounder James Faulkner to debut while Mitchell Starc is recalled with Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird missing out on selection.

England captain Alastair Cook says he will pick the team he feels will be best suited to win and make it a historic 4-0.

"I think it would be very special to win the Ashes 4-0," admitted Cook.

"That is what our motivation is as a side and we are hopefully going to pick the right side, the side that we think can win this Test match.

"Training has been good the last couple of days and we haven't done anything different. (We're treating the match) as if it were 1-1 in the series and that was our aim for this week.

"We don't need any more motivation - that is enough for us. To win a Test match for England is big enough motivation and we have a lot of record-breakers in this team. Every time you beat Australia it is a good feeling."

Back-to-back Ashes series is an unusual proposition which both teams face this winter and Cook has reiterated the England camp do not want to give the Australians any momentum into the return series.

"It will be one of those strange things. When we get to Australia we will be saying 'what is gone is gone' and it won't make any difference during that first hour in Brisbane.

"But sitting here now, as a side, those little things can make a difference and if we can keep putting Australia under pressure in certain areas of their play then we know that will count well when we go down to Australia. If we can continue winning games of cricket then that is all we can do."

Australia captain Clarke on the other hand is also confident his side can taste victory at the Oval which would give them confidence going into the t20 and One Day International series.

"Our goal hasn't changed, we try to win every Test Match we play and this Test is no different.

"There's a number of reasons we have to have success in this Test match but the main reason is every Test you play for Australia you want to win. We don't need any extra motivation than that.

"(A win) would certainly be a nice way to finish the Test side of the tour. We've obviously got some T20s and one-dayers afterwards that are crucial for us, but it would be a nice way to finish.

"I think by simply understanding who we are in this series we still have a lot to gain. We don't need extra motivation."

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Topics:
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket

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