In a series that has been near-perfect, England are preparing for a final hurrah at the SCG as they look to seal the series in style as well as holding onto the Ashes.
Those following the Latest scores know that only the rain can deny England the victory in Sydney, but with the visitors already 2-1 up, a draw will still mean they have triumphed in the backyard of the old enemy for the first time in 24 years.
They enjoyed another dominant day on Thursday, sparkling with the bat, hitting 644 – a record high for an English side in Australia – and then ripping through the Aussie line-up with the ball.
As Ian Botham said in commentary, the fact England made a record score and then left the hosts reeling on 213-7 on the same pitch, shows the gulf in class between the two sides.
The blip at Perth aside England have been dominant in every department. Six of the top seven batsmen have scored centuries during the series, with record breaker Alastair Cook leading the way at the top of the order.
With the ball every front-line bowler has contributed – often working as teams to hunt down the Australian batsmen. Graeme Swann is a prime example of this. The Aussies may have designed the pitches to try and nullify his threat but his tight, disciplined bowling holds up one end, strangling the scoring and allowing Strauss to rotate his seamers at the other.
Those seamers, be it Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad or James Anderson – have all bowled to a tailored plan to each Australian batsmen. The temptation for a bowler is to go for a wicket with every ball, but the selflessness among the players means the team always comes first, with obvious results.
Australia clearly have problems, the shadow of that all conquering team looms large over the class of 2011 and a lack of foresight by the Australian selectors during the tail end of that golden era is starting to bite.
Livescore cricket pundits note how England can only beat what is put in front of them and they have done so in the most convincing fashion possible – bettering Australia in every department.
In the long-term such one-sided series are not good for the game – the 2005 series was so special because it went to the wire in virtually every test.
But after all the hammerings England took at the hands of Australia over the past 20 years, you can’t begrudge them a bit of sweet, well-earned revenge.