London: Despite gaining an unassailable series lead and the world number one status, England skipper
Andrew Strauss is in no mood to allow beleaguered India to finish the four-match Test rubber on a positive note.
"I am absolutely certain India would like to finish on a high note but our job is to stop them from doing it," said the left-hander ahead of the fourth and final Test that starts here at the Oval from tomorrow.
England are up 3-0 but Strauss felt the journey is not yet complete.
"We are only part way through our journey as a group of players. Now we very much need to redouble our effort, keep improvement going and not to take foot off gas. We all will now be judged by our high standards."
The great Australian team of the 90s invariably took its foot off the pedal after winning a series but Strauss wouldn`t let his team fall into the trap.
Should England find themselves in a spot, Strauss and his men can fall back on the experience of lifting themselves out of a crisis as they did on more than one occasion in the first two Tests.
"Ideally you don`t want to fall too long way behind but we have responded well. It helps foster confidence within the side."
Strauss felt the challenges ahead would keep them motivated for not only the Oval game but also for future engagements.
"There are so many challenges ahead, there`s tour to the sub-continent, South Africa is coming next summer, India is in winter thereafter, the world championships, the Ashes, the challenges never cease. You are very motivated to keep improving."
Strauss also confirmed that James Anderson is more or less fit to play but should he miss out, there are always replacements around in the squad.
"We are very optimistic he is fit to play. He had a good bowl today. But like as always, we would check how he turns up in the morning. At the moment it doesn`t look more than a niggle.”
"He`s the leader of our attack and has been outstanding in that role. But we have had Broad injured, Tremlett injured and people have come in and done well. We have not relied on one or two but on all eleven."
The England skipper also underlined that they wouldn`t rotate players only because it`s been part of their policy.
"We have rested in the past. It`s sensible given the hectic nature of international schedule. We don`t want them to break down ahead of important series.”
"But we would rotate only if we are certain they need a rest."
The general perception of coach Andy Flower being a very tough man was also affirmed by Strauss.
"He`s a hard man to get to smile. He`s driving us, he is the last person to be satisfied with what we`ve achieved, the first to be disappointed if we take our foot off the pedal."