Strauss aims for No 1 after England keep Ashes

Updated: Dec 29, 2010, 14:08 PM IST

Melbourne: Andrew Strauss is looking ahead to making England the number one team in world cricket after achieving the Holy Grail of retaining the Ashes in Australia.

The tourists inflicted their second innings triumph over the Australians in the series with a domineering innings and 157-run victory in the fourth Melbourne Test to take a 2-1 series lead ahead of next week`s final Sydney Test.

While England bask in keeping the Ashes for a few more years after decades of Australian domination, skipper Strauss has grander plans in store for his team.

"Winning the Ashes in Australia has always been a bit of a Holy Grail for English sides," skipper Strauss said after his team mopped up a commanding win inside four days today.

"In reality the job is a long way off being done. This is one series and as a side we`ve still got a lot of goals we want to achieve.”

"English cricket is not just about winning the Ashes, we have to look forward to the future and try to get our team up those rankings and hopefully to world number one at some stage.”

"That`s the ultimate goal for us and we have lot of small steps along the way to achieve that, including India next summer is an important step on that way.”

"I get the feeling that we can still improve a lot as a side and that`s quite motivating."

England are currently third on the Test rankings behind India and South Africa, with Australia fourth.

Strauss, who has grown in stature as a leader on the Ashes tour, wants to continually challenge his side to attain greater heights and sees some goals ahead, starting with next week`s Sydney Test.

"There is plenty to strive for, the Sydney Test, then the World Cup and then we have India coming next summer which is going to be a big opportunity for us," he said.

"Our objective was to come out here and win the series, so we haven`t achieved that yet.”

"It`s very reassuring to know that the Ashes are going to remain in England for the next couple of years, but it would leave a very sour taste in the mouth if we weren`t able to go on and convert our position into a series win in Sydney."

PTI