It was a celebration 24 years in the making and England were going to
do their best to make the most of it.
The sight of the cavernous MCG empty apart from celebrating England fans is one to behold and treasure, especially since this is often a ground where England arrive as an already beaten side. After all, the livescore cricket stats pointed to the fact they were 3-0 down on Boxing Day four years ago.
But now all the work and meticulous preparation that has gone into this series has paid off as the latest scores point to a 2-1 England success with one left to play.
Captain Andrew Strauss is right to look ahead to Sydney and beyond. If England don’t go on and win this series after dominating pretty much throughout, it will be a crime.
And Strauss will also be wary of what happened in 2005, when the side became caught up in the glory of it all and lost focus – resulting in that desperate 5-0 whitewash down under in 2006/07.
But for one day at least, the players and fans can celebrate emulating an event that occurred before some of the current squad were even born.
It was also a record breaking one – from the run-filled Gabba to here, England have piled on the misery for the hosts. It is the first time Australia have ever lost by an innings twice in a series outside of England, showing the scale of the tourists’ achievements.
It can’t be denied that Australia have problems. Both captain and vice-captain are out of form, while the lack of young talent, especially compared to the all conquering side of just a few years ago, is alarming.
But credit also has to go to England – they can only beat what is put in front of them and they have done so in comprehensive fashion. It has been a real team effort, with all players contributing with the bat, ball and most notably in the field - an area where England haven’t always shone.
They deserve their moment of glory – I just hope it isn’t another 24
years before they do it again.