Australian batsman Usman Khawaja says he and his teammates would love to win the Ashes 5-0, but they aren’t trying to end any England careers.
England veterans Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad are under the pump after Australia regained the Ashes on Monday with victory in the third Test at the WACA Ground.
The star trio are among the players in danger of being dropped for the Boxing Day Test, while 35-year-old paceman James Anderson is no certainty to continue on after this series despite his strong performances.
Australia will complete a 5-0 whitewash if they can win in Melbourne and Sydney, and the pressure is on the visitors to inject some youth into the side now in order to prepare for the 2019 Ashes in England.
Before the start of the current series, Australian spinner Nathan Lyon said he was keen to end some England careers this summer.
Tensions between the two sides simmered during the first two Tests.
But Khawaja, who turned 31 on Monday, said winning every Test – not demoralising their opponents – was the team’s focus, and he hopes the two teams can share a beer after the series.
“Winning’s enough I think,” Khawaja said before flying out of Perth on Tuesday.
“We’ve played some really good cricket thus far. Everyone’s contributed at certain periods. It’s been a great team effort.
“Hopefully we’ll win 5-0, and when we do, I’m sure at the end of that we’ll all get together and all have a drink together. I’m sure that will happen.
“We know the series is won, but we’re still trying to win the next two games.”
Australian paceman Mitchell Starc is in doubt for the Boxing Day Test after injuring his right heel in Perth.
Starc has played in just one Boxing Day Test since making his debut in 2011, and he’s desperate not to miss it this summer.
“I’m sure whatever the case is, he’s going to be doing everything he can to play on Boxing Day,” Khawaja said.
“He bowled beautifully this game. He was obviously in a bit of pain. But I think they’re going to have to assess it in the next couple of days.”