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England vow to remain focused after exorcising demons

Last updated on: December 7, 2010 11:07 IST

'In some ways it exorcised the demons from four years ago'

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Captain Andrew Strauss said England would savour their win over Australia on Tuesday but the reverse in the corresponding Ashes four years ago had taught them not to take anything for granted in the rest of the series.

-Scoreboard

Encapsulating England's businesslike approach to the Ashes series, which they now lead 1-0 after the innings and 71-run victory, Strauss said there would be celebrations on Tuesday night but it would be back to work on Wednesday.

"We're very pleased with what we've done this week," he told reporters.

"We've got some great momentum now in this series and we've got to keep it going.

"In some ways it exorcised the demons from four years ago here but now it's back to square one," he added.


Image: England players celebrate after winning the second Ashes Test in Adelaide
Photographs: Reuters
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'I think the team victory today is incredible'

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Four years ago, England declared on 551 but still fell to defeat with a batting collapse on the final day of the match at the Adelaide Oval.

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen, named man-of-the-match after scoring 227 and taking the key wicket of Michael Clarke, said the contrast with 2006 made the victory all the sweeter.

"The best feeling is walking into the dressing rooms having won this Test match," he said.

"Four years ago it was a very, very horrible dressing room to walk into, a very quiet dressing, a very negative dressing room and not as united as the dressing room is at the moment.

"Individual performances obviously add to a team victory and I think the team victory today is incredible, it's the best feeling, no matter who gets the runs and who takes the wickets.

"Victory in Australia, I haven't had one, Straussy hasn't had one in test cricket, is a great feeling and we're going to enjoy it.

"But we're not going to get complacent because we know as soon as complacency sets in, it bites you," he added.


Image: James Anderson celebrates after picking up Brad Haddin during the seond Ashes Test

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'We had to keep digging deep right until the end'

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The fight against any sort of complacency is clearly a team mantra, and Strauss said it was a lesson they had learned the hard way four years ago.

"The good thing about last time is that we realised that no matter what sort of position you're in this game in Adelaide, don't count your chickens," he said.

"We batted first, put on a big score, thought we were in a good position to win, then we thought we were in a good position to draw it and then we lost it.

"This time, when we got our noses in front we knew we had to make it pay, we had to keep digging deep right until the end.

"As we saw, Australia came back at us yesterday, you've got to earn the right to win a Test match and I was very pleased we were able to do that today," he added.


Image: Graeme Swann reacts after picking the last wicket during the second Ashes Test in Adelaide

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'Australia are going to come back at us hard'

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Strauss was quick to parry any suggestions that England's moementum was now so strong that it would carry them to a first Ashes series victory on Australian soil in 24 years.

"We're in good position now because a lot of our batters are in good form the bowlers are bowling well," he said.

"But we need to make sure that we don't take our foot off the pedal because we know Australia are going to come back at us hard and if we give them any way back into the series, they'll take it.

"We've got to be prepared for a scrap of these last three Test matches," he added.


Image: Ricky Ponting answers questions during a press conference

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