Back to business for England's heroes
Posted in England in Australia 2010-11
It may seem unfair to move on so quickly from such a significant accomplishment, but for England’s Ashes-retaining cricketers, the time for celebration is already over.
Andrew Strauss’ side have been rightfully lauded following their sensational innings-and-157-run victory in the fourth Test at the MCG, which ensured they will return from Australia with the famous little urn for the first time in 24 years.
Regardless of the problems facing the hosts at present, the scale of England’s achievement should not be underestimated.
However, their overall mission is far from complete.
For starters, the tourists must avoid defeat in the fifth and final Test, which begins on Monday, if they are to win the series.
Even though the main prize has already been secured, there would be a considerable sense of disappointment if Australia were allowed the consolation of pulling level in Sydney.
After all, England have waited more than two decades to gain the upper hand on the home soil of their fiercest rivals and, no matter which way you look at it, that’s a long time between drinks.
Reassuringly, team director Andy Flower has been quick to make sure his squad are fully focused on the task ahead.
“It's much too early to be feeling satisfied, that's for sure,” he said today.
"We came out here to win this series - and we'll be doing everything we can to do that."
With a host of limited-overs matches against Australia to be followed by the World Cup on the sub-continent in February, there are plenty of other reasons for England to keep their foot firmly on the gas over the coming months as they strive to become the leading side in the world cricket.
We can enjoy our team’s Ashes success for a while longer, but for the players it’s back to business.