Cook Ready For
Battle To Commence

Featured News | 9th July 2013

Alastair Cook believes his England side are well prepared for the challenges to follow as the first Investec Ashes Test begins tomorrow at Trent Bridge.

England will look to claim a third series on the bounce when they begin tomorrow and go into the series as favourites.

This hasn’t affected England preparation and Cook revealed he is very happy with where the squad is at.

"We're very happy with the composition of our side and we're lucky we have a strong squad to choose from," he said.

"We've been favourites before and coped well. We don't pay too much attention to what's going on in the other dressing room. We try to concentrate solely on ourselves.

"We've always known it's going to be one hell of a battle in these five Test matches. Australia have got some fine, fine cricketers and we're going to have to be at our absolute best to put them under pressure and to win the game. I'm sure they see it the same.”

Part of that squad is Joe Root, who is set to open for the first time after replacing Nick Compton at the top of the order.

Despite his inexperience at the top of an international order, Cook sees no problem will how the 22-year-old will cope. 

"He's handled himself in every situation fantastically well since making his England debut," Cook told a press conference ahead of the first Test.

"What's impressed everyone is he has always batted the situation fantastically well, so whether it is a one-day game in which he needs to score quickly or to see the side home, he's changed his style.

"I can see no reason why he can't handle himself. He's a fantastic young player, yes he's got a huge amount of improvement to do, but I think he'll be fine."

This series also marks a milestone in Cook’s career as it is the first time he will take on the Australians as captain, an opportunity which he relishes. 

"Everyone's desperately excited. There are a few nerves floating around.

"I feel experienced as a cricketer and captain and in the last six months I've grown into the role quite nicely. I've got a huge amount of learning to do, but the only time you can do that is out in the middle, in those situations."

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