Cricket Expert & Columnist
The Ashes: Oval victory perfect launch-pad for Australia tour, says Strauss
Victory at the Oval will give Ashes winners England a great platform for the Australia tour, says Andrew Strauss.
Last Updated: 13/08/13 10:52am
I know I'm supposed to be a bit more dispassionate now that I'm in the commentary box but I know a lot of the guys pretty well and they should be really proud of what they've achieved.
Not everyone has had a brilliant series so far - a number of the batsmen have had a quiet series - but they've battled well as a team and come through most of the pressure situations well.
At the end of the day they have played a lot of good cricket and are 3-0 up in the Ashes with one to play so it's hard to be too critical!
The immediate challenge is to wrap up the series and repeat the dose out in Australia, which will be a big ask. The Australian batsmen and seamers will be far more comfortable in their own conditions plus there will be less in the pitches for Graeme Swann, so England can't afford to get too carried away.
Longer term the aim must be to get back to number one in the world. England have got a lot of world-class players in their side but to achieve that goal and beat the likes of India and South Africa more of them will need to perform at the same time.
Anyone who turned up to the ground yesterday certainly had full value for their money. It was an incredible day's Test cricket - the evening session in particular.
The game ebbed and flowed incredibly in those final few hours, just as it has so often this series.
Australia looked real favourites just after tea but Stuart Broad turned the game on its head with an incredible spell of bowling and took England to a really well-deserved victory.
Just as he did at the Oval in 2009, Broad built up a head of steam and reacted well to the crowd involvement. The atmosphere really spurred him on.
Broad has the happy ability of being able to take wickets in a number of different ways. He bowls a short ball that is hard to play and he brings the ball back onto the stumps too and can trap a lot of people lbw and bowled.
When he is bowling like that he is incredibly dangerous and really hard to contend with when you first come to the crease.
Broad was as fantastic in this Test as Jimmy Anderson was extraordinary in the first and with Graeme Swann being an ever-present threat it's clear that England's bowlers have a formula that works for them.
They won't stray too far away from that formula in the near future - the onus is on other teams to make sure the system doesn't work and Australia haven't been good enough to do that so far.
I do think, though, that the selectors will be tempted to play Chris Tremlett at the Oval where the wicket really helps tall, hit the deck bowlers.
Chris Tremlett has been in good form so far this summer and if I was in the set up I'd be trying to get him in for the final Test.
The question is, at whose expense? That's a question that only England can answer once they have assessed how the bowlers are feeling and whether there are any niggles in the camp.
Anderson did look a little bit tired in this game - which I suppose wasn't surprising given the number of overs that he bowled at Trent Bridge - so they might be tempted to rest him, but I'm sure Jimmy will want to finish the series in style!
Watch the fifth and final Ashes Test on Sky Sports Ashes from 10am on Wednesday 21st August and on the Ashes Events Centre, available via the Sky Sports App.