Cook can't wait to lift Ashes urn
Alastair Cook admits he cannot wait to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors by lifting the Ashes urn as England captain.
The destination of the urn was secured at Old Trafford, with a series triumph in the bag after England went 3-0 up at Durham last time out.
The home side would be forgiven for treating the fifth and final Investec Test as something of a lap of honour, but that is not how Andy Flower's ultra-professional set-up functions.
Instead all eyes are on becoming the first England side to win a home Ashes series 4-0 but even if that ambition does fall flat, Cook knows he will get the chance to raise the tiniest trophy in sport.
"I think it is going to be an amazing moment anyway, for me personally, to be able to pick up the Ashes," he said.
"When you come to the Oval, every day you walk past pictures of Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss doing it. So knowing I will be the next captain to do it brings a smile to the face
"In an absolutely ideal world, you want to do it with a victory, of course you would, but if we did lose the game, we wouldn't be that deflated because we would have achieved what we wanted to achieve."
Make no mistake, though, despite the fact that the spoils have largely been settled a first Test defeat of 2013 is not on the England radar.
Instead, Cook believes his side go in just as hungry for victory as they would if the game was poised on a knife-edge.
"Our preparation has been excellent, training has been good and we haven't done anything different than if it was 1-1 in the series," said Cook.
"To win the Investec Ashes 4-0 has never been done before, so I think that is our motivation as a side. I think it would be very special.
"We don't need any more motivation. To win a Test match is enough for us. It always is.
"We have a lot of record breakers in this team and the chance to add another little notch is a great motivator."
Cook's opposite number Michael Clarke, meanwhile, cut a dejected figure on the eve of the match.
He confirmed that all-rounder James Faulkner will be handed a Test debut this morning, in the process becoming the 17th player used by Australia this series.
It is a statistic that screams indecisiveness and inconsistency, but Clarke believes the side have brought it on themselves.
"I think you have to perform as a player and if you don't there's a chance you can be dropped," he said.
"That's the life we live playing sport at the highest level. If you don't perform consistently there's a chance you can be dropped.
"We are trying to win the Test match so the selectors have picked this side feeling this gives us the best chance.
"As we have seen through this series the statistics, records, first-class performances haven't meant a lot. It's about finding a way over the five days to have success and I know James Faulkner has got the strength to do that with the bat or ball."