Regardless what any of the participants have been quoted saying in the lead up to the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval, the heat of the battle will have dulled somewhat for many of the players in what is a dead rubber.
Although a 4-1 win would fairly reflect the dominance England have displayed throughout this series, it’s likely that many of the home side will be happy to bask in what will be a celebratory Test match in London.
For the visitors, the encounter is a chance to honour and bid farewell to two departing members of their squad.
Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers will both play their final Test matches at the Oval, while Steve Smith and David Warner wait to form a new leadership axis.
Surrey’s ground has been kind to the hosts over recent Ashes battles, with England only losing two of their last 17 there.
There can be little doubt that Stuart Broad is the man of the moment for England with the ball and 11/2 is available on the Nottinghamshire seamer capping a fine series with a five-for in the first innings.
There has been little to cheer for the Australians on the tour, but a farewell score of note for Clarke would be a welcome finale.
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