Acting captain Andrew Flintoff dedicated England’s Commonwealth Bank Series triumph to under-fire coach Duncan Fletcher.
An England side missing a handful of first-choice players completed one of the most remarkable sporting comebacks in memory to complete a shock 2-0 win over Australia in the finals.
Sunday's 34-run Duckworth-Lewis win at the SCG was the fourth on the trot for an England side unrecognisable from the one which took on the Australians in the summer of 2005.
Only a fortnight ago pressure was mounting on Zimbabwean Fletcher, whose one-day record of 24 defeats in the previous 31 completed matches against Test-class opposition suggested little hope at next month’s World Cup.
Fletcher is yet to commit to extending his tenure beyond that tournament but asked whether the players would welcome such a move, Flintoff said: "Of course. He has been our coach for a long time and he has taken this side forward.
"Over a period of time you’ve seen the improvement in the England side. Every player that has played under him has learnt something and taken something away to improve their game. On a trip like this the coach has taken a few knocks and taken flak on our behalf - to repay him like we have done is great."
Prior to the drastic turnaround England had been demolished twice in Adelaide and conceded more than 300 against New Zealand for the first time in one-day internationals.
"We knew we had it in us, it took a while to come out but we are very pleased it has done and we are going to enjoy it," said Flintoff. "I’ve played quite a few one-day internationals now, we’ve won the odd series, some great games of cricket, but to beat Australia three times on the bounce, to come from where we did to get into the finals and go on and win them shows what this team can do.
"We will take a lot of spirit to the World Cup with us."
Paul Collingwood was named man of the finals after once again top-scoring following two hundreds earlier in the week.
As well as hitting 70, the contest’s only half-century, the Durham all-rounder, 30, also claimed two wickets and a fine catch.
"It’s where I want to be as a cricketer," said Collingwood. "I am happy to finish a game like I did at the MCG because I needed it on my CV. I hadn’t done it before."
Australia captain Ricky Ponting was left shell-shocked by the pendulum swing towards England. Liam Plunkett’s disjointed new-ball spell, during which he dismissed Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke between the showers, shaped the result.
And Ponting believes a greater share of the performances has been the key to their Ashes rivals.
"You can have a couple of outstanding performances in a game and generally scrape through," he said. "But they’ve had a lot more of an even contribution from most of their players over the past few games.
"They’ve had more output from more of their players, which ends up being a good team result. I thought they played a pretty complete game.
"They have turned things around very quickly and very well and they’ve played their best two games of the summer, probably, in the finals.
"They can be very proud, go to the Caribbean full of confidence and the way they have played in the last couple I am sure they will win their fair share through that World Cup. Good luck to them."
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