Reaction to England's Ashes triumph

England need to maintain their focus to ensure they emerge from the final Ashes Test in Sydney as series victors, Angus Fraser said today.

The tourists' victory by an innings and 157 runs in Melbourne means they have already retained the little urn, but Fraser, who played in five Ashes series without playing on the winning side, says Andy Flower's side must not let up ahead of the final rubber at the SCG.



"The big thing is to win the series over there," said the Middlesex director of cricket and former England bowler.



"But, as there seems to be such emphasis on each game, for example England won by an innings in Adelaide and then lost by 267 runs in Perth, you wonder can you maintain that level of discipline and desire throughout a series? The challenge for England is to make sure there is no hangover after this as they go to Sydney.



"To win in Australia is what he (England captain Andrew Strauss) will want to do as he will want to join the captains who have won down there. It's a case of allowing the players a couple of days off New Year's Eve and then on January 2 get their minds focused on producing another five days of good cricket.



"Winning in Australia makes legends of you as it does not happen very often, and I'm sure Strauss wants to be seen in that company and the players want to be talked about in the same way as Mike Gatting's side."



Fraser also paid tribute to the captain-coach combination of Strauss and Flower, praising their preparations for the series.



"Australia is a tough place to play cricket, they have excellent cricketers and conditions are not similar to what you get at home," he told Sky Sports News.



"They have a tough mentality and they play ruthless cricket, although this Australia side has not played particularly well, but it's been a brilliant performance by England. It's a real triumph for Strauss and Flower who have put a great deal of time, thought and effort into getting what they wanted.



"England are moving forward under them, there seems to be a real purpose to everything they do and the players they are working with are improving as cricketers."

Former England coach David Lloyd also heaped praise on former Zimbabwe batsman Flower, who has transformed England since taking charge in the wake of last year's disastrous Test series defeat in the West Indies.

Lloyd told Sky Sports News: "He (Flower) is very important, he is so impressive and distances himself from the team. When he is interviewed he calls the players by their surnames and keeps that distance from them.



"While he says it is nice for Strauss to congratulate the coaching and backroom staff, he also points out it is the 11 players who go out there on the field."



Lloyd also believes there is plenty of scope for England to improve and challenge South Africa and India, the two sides above them in the world Test rankings.



"I think this team can go a long way," he continued. "The key players are quite young, they are well led by Strauss and Anderson is the leader of the bowling attack and is still in his 20s.



"They expected to win here, they are looking to win in Sydney and then they will then turn their attentions to next summer (when India will tour England)."

England batting coach Graham Gooch hailed the impact of Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan, who came into the side for the fourth Test and took four crucial wickets in the second innings.

The former opener told BBC Radio Five Live: "Everyone can be proud of their performances, but they won't think it's over yet. They will want to finish Australia off and win the series, that was the aim at the start of the tour.



"I found it ironic that Tim Bresnan, one of the future stars for England in my opinion, came in like Gladstone Small did in 1986/87 at Melbourne and delivered the winning performance."



Gooch also highlighted the miserable batting form of Ricky Ponting as a key factor in England's success, believing the Australia captain's argument with umpire Aleem Dar on day two in Melbourne showed the pressure he was under.



"His histrionics with the umpire show pressure gets to you when your side are not playing well. The captain takes all the stick when you are not playing well.



"We talked about targeting Ponting as captain, and if you undermine him and his performance you undermine Australia.



"He is an iconic player, one of the best of the last decade and a half and that's been a major factor in England retaining the Ashes. They have to go to Sydney and keep that up.



"I think Ponting will play on as Australia don't have many other options. I imagine their side will be very similar in Sydney and they may just bring the spinner (Michael Beer) in for Ryan Harris."





News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
film
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee