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Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day

Now Ponting talks about whitewash

Peter English at Melbourne

December 28, 2006

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Ricky Ponting: 'We've got an opportunity to create something very special' © Getty Images
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Ricky Ponting's "relentless" Australia will push for the second 5-0 result in Ashes history and a 12th win in a row next week in Sydney. The innings and 99-run victory at the MCG added more despair to a wretched England tour, but they can expect no let-off as the series winds down.

Ponting said the side would celebrate their two days off but he wanted his players to prepare as well as they did for the first Test in Brisbane when they meet in Sydney. "When we do get to training we'll make sure we're ready to go," he said. "We've got an opportunity to create something very special."

Warwick Armstrong's side managed an Ashes cleansweep in 1920-21 and only Steve Waugh's team has achieved more consecutive wins than the current outfit. By posting their 11th success this side has matched the West Indies of the mid-1980s.

Shane Warne, who was the Man of the Match, refused to say this was the greatest outfit he had appeared in, but he felt the previous teams could not match the result. "To play against the second best side in the world, who are a very good side, and to be 4-0 up, I don't think any side I've played with has been as good as at the moment," he said. "It was a great exhibition from a very good team."

Ponting said Australia's low error rate and the ability to win the important moments set them apart from their "demoralised" opponents. "When you're playing at the standard we are and not making mistakes, it doesn't matter who you're playing," he said. "We'll get in as much trouble as any team in a Test, but we'll find a way of scrapping away and getting our noses in front. When we've had the chance we've made the most of it - the Symonds-Hayden partnership in this game or the last day in Adelaide. We've been relentless."

Andrew Flintoff spoke for England and had no revealing answers about his side's demise. Ponting tried to be kind to his opponents but finished with a crushing statement. "After losing a game like today after three days and winning the toss, I think they'd be pretty demoralised."

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo

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