England winning The Ashes wasn't what the prophecy said. The home side were supposed to get hammered, get their captain sacked, bring an end to a few careers, and rebuild thereafter as they have been all this time, but instead, what happened is the total opposite and a part of the English Cricket folklore now.
Stumps are about to be called on what has been an era-changing Ashes series for both the rivals, as we move to The Kia Oval - the place where it all once began and of course the home to many a few great Ashes tests of the past and some infamous celebrations. Whereas it's about avenging their 5-0 defeat for England, to salvage some bit of pride is what it's all about for Australia.
One thing Australia can be sure of, is that the ruthlessness in England's game is going to be relentless and that stopping the Englishmen from making it 4-1 would be like preventing Neville Cardus from setting a typewriter on fire. England have been simply too hot to handle for the tourists. The adhibition of their ideology and plans to their actual game has been spot on in the past two games and the hosts must look do the same in a match where there's no pressure whatsoever.
England don't need to just overthink their aim to make it 4-1, they should go out there, and play with free spirits while enjoying themselves as the hardest bit has already been done. If all of this is implemented successfully, Australia won't come any way near beating England.
With James Anderson now ruled out of the fifth test, we can expect to see an unchanged XI.
The urn is gone, rather snatched away from Australia, but the pride is still there to be played for, as is often the case in dead rubbers. Even if pride is not taken into consideration because a whole lot of it has been lost anyway, the World Champions (so-called) have two greats to give farewell to - Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers. Surely, there isn't any more inspiration needed?
Keeping it another way, the fifth test is a test of Australia's character and mental strength as well. Rebuffing it as a meaningless match would be silly, putting all of their effort and fight into it would be typically Australian; however the choice is theirs. One thing is for sure though, if the Kangaroos are to make it 3-2, the only way to do it is showing application and skill as batsmen, and some nous as bowlers - as simple as that.
Hard to say what change will Darren Lehmann make and what not, but Josh Hazlewood and Peter Nevill look set to be replaced by James Pattinson and Matthew Wade respectively.