ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook has urged his players to achieve “something special” this week and seal an unprecedented 4-0 series win against Australia at the Kia Oval.
With the destination of the Ashes urn long since confirmed, England could be forgiven for ringing the changes and losing motivation.
However, with the chance to inflict the heaviest ever series defeat on home soil against the Baggy Greens, Cook insists England are fully focused on the task at hand.
“Our preparation has been excellent. We haven’t done anything different than if it was 1-1 in the series,” said the opening batsman.
“We’ve always said Australia are a good Test side and they’ve played some good cricket, but we’ve won some critical moments and won those moments well.
“That’s why we’re 3-0 up. I’m proud of the way the lads have achieved that but with 4-0 you would’ve achieved something very special. We have a lot of record breakers in this team and the chance to add another little notch is a great motivator.”
England will make at least one change with bowler Tim Bresnan sidelined due to a back injury.
Meanwhile, Australia have already named their team with all-rounder James Faulkner set to make his Test debut, while seamer Mitchell Starc has earned a recall. Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird miss out.
England’s biggest Ashes wins
■ 4-1: 1911-12, 1928-29, 1932-33 (all in Australia)
■ 3-0: 1977 (in England)
■ 3-1: 1954-55, 2010-11 (in Australia)
Only includes five-match series