Seam bowler Stuart Broad said on 17 August that he wanted England to be ruthless as they look to complete a 4-1 series victory over Australia in the Ashes. England took an unassailable 3-1 lead after the hosts backed up their eight-wicket victory inside three days at Edgbaston with a crushing innings and 78-runs win in the fourth test at Trent Bridge.
Broad's astonishing personal best haul of 8-15 on the first morning at Nottingham helped England dismiss Australia for 60 runs in just 18.3 overs to set up another overwhelming victory. With the Ashes already won England can climb above the visitors into second place in the test rankings behind South Africa if they secure a win in the fifth test which starts at The Oval on 20 August.
Broad said: "Four-to-one sounds better than 3-2. You work very hard to gain upper advantages in the series and we want to make sure we are ruthless this week. Australia are renowned for being ruthless as a team and we want to create those habits for us and make sure we're on the money. There's a lot of determination to finish this series really strongly."
Broad's comments were echoed by fellow paceman Steven Finn, who was among the wickets at Edgbaston, his 6-79 haul in Australia's second innings proving crucial in helping England to victory. Finn said: "If we don't put in a good performance it will take a bit of gloss off of the series so far, we don't want to win it 3-2 we'd like to win it 4-1."
A boisterous crowd will greet England at the Oval and Broad wants England to treat them to more of the attacking cricket they have played throughout the series. "The Oval is a famous place where you make really good memories," he said. "It's where the last test of every summer happens, you remember it for winning or losing a series and the memories the players will have this week will stay with them forever lifting the Ashes there, but you want to do that on a winning note and that's hugely important to us as a team.
"The crowd always get really behind us there, it is a fantastic atmosphere and we want to play the style of cricket we've been playing, hitting boundaries, taking catches, scoring runs. It's exciting to watch and play and the crowds want to see that so that's certainly our aim for this week."
"I think if we were to play bad cricket and lose the test match or not do ourselves justice out there I don't think it would be as much of a party. We want to create an atmosphere by playing good cricket as we have done for the majority of this series, we'd be disappointed if we don't do that. We've had a little bit of time off and everyone's been really focused over the last few days and especially going into this week about winning this test match which starts on Thursday."