Flower shuns talk of greatness
Andy Flower's latest Ashes-winners will leave it to others to judge how great they are - and simply try to continue beating the opposition in front of them.
England delivered a third successive Ashes series victory since Flower took over as coach on Monday, a hat-trick last achieved before most of the current squad were born.
It is not in captain Alastair Cook's living memory, for example, to trace back 32 years to the summer of 1981 and a series dominated by Sir Ian Botham, when England last made it three out of three.
In their surge to a 74-run victory in the fourth Investec Test at Chester-le-Street and a 3-0 series scoreline, this time it was Stuart Broad who ensured the class of 2013 made their own history.
Flower takes pride in those achievements, naturally, under what he describes as the "brilliant" captaincy of Cook.
But neither they nor anyone else in the home camp are about to start proclaiming their own prowess.
"This side has had some excellent results recently ... (winning last winter) away in India, a number of Ashes series wins," said Flower.
"But we don't sit in the dressing-room and talk about this being a great side. That's for other people to judge.
"What we talk about is how we're going to win. Rankings and ratings are for other people to judge."
Those International Cricket Council tables - which England topped until only a year ago, and which Flower acknowledges he once used to motivate the team - no longer top his or his players' agenda.
"Becoming number one in the world was a burning ambition for us, I think because we hadn't done it before," he said.
"I think we used it quite well as a motivating tool, when we were chasing it a couple of years ago. But I think we're not quite so hungry for it as we were."
England are still hungry - as Cook was quick to point out - for more success against Australia, victory at The Oval next week first on a wish-list which already extends to a fourth consecutive Ashes series win this coming winter. That feat has not been achieved by England since they won the last of eight in succession in 1890.
Flower is already formulating plans, but is happy to take a moment or two as well to reflect on an astounding passage of play at Durham when Broad took six of nine wickets to fall in the final session after Australia had appeared set to chase 299.
"It was a sensational match, and it's been a great series," he said. "It's been very competitive, great for the spectators.
"Australia have played some really good cricket and it's been a tough one.
"The scoreline shows we've won some very key moments. We've shown real resilience."
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