After edging past them in the first Test and humiliating Australia in the second, England fans and cricket experts can't stop hailing their national team. Now, they realise that predictions of a whitewash may not be mere over-confidence and want Alastair Cook and his men to go all out - in beating the visitors, that is.
England's 347-run victory against Australia - inside 4 days of the Lord's Test, has unleashed jubilation across the country with cricket fans lauding the performance. While there are still three Tests to be played and Aussie skipper Michael Clarke has vowed to have the last laugh, the hosts are being cheered to go for the jugular. Cook agrees."We can't take our foot off the gas - that's not how this England side works," he said on Sunday.
In a report in UK's Daily Mail, the team has been urged to 'go for the kill because they would do the same to us.' The report questions if a closely-fought Test series is more exciting than having one team overwhelm the other. "We should enjoy relentlessly pounding the Aussies this summer and then carry it on into the winter, go for 10-0, remorselessly grind them into the dirt."
The Ashes have been a string of nail-biting contests usually but the recent Lord's Test exposed the current difference in form and cricketing standards between the two sides. The rivalry between the two nations is such that hard-fought matches take a backseat and all that matters is a win - the more emphatic, the better. "I would probably prefer a better contest but I am also more than happy for us to hammer them into the dirt all the way through to the spring!" wrote a fan on a British news website. A few others though did point out that beating a 'second-string Aussie side' may take some sheen away. Their numbers though appeared scarce.
In all of this, cricketing pages in newspapers published in both countries paint vivid and starkly contrasting pictures. While the British press has found itself running out of accolades, Oz press has been running out of patience in showing restraint. "Right now there appear few solutions on how Australia can drag itself back into the series to prevent a 5-0 whitewash," read an article in the Sydney Morning Telegraph. Another in The Australian chose to term proceedings so far as 'a shabby and public humbling at Lord's.' (Read report in full, here)