England have right recipe, says Cook

ENGLAND batsman Alastair Cook insists there will be no repeat this winter of the 5-0 drubbing they suffered last time they headed Down Under for an Ashes series.

Australia enjoyed a whitewash four years ago when an England side captained by Andrew Flintoff lost the urn in spectacular style.

Cook was part of that team and believes that stronger form and a more thorough preparation will ensure the class of 2010 is better equipped.

“As a side we’re in a better place, we’re stable and coming off a good 18 months where we’ve played some great cricket,” said Cook. “The confidence is running throughout the side and everyone is very trusting of everyone else in the squad.

“Last time was different. The preparation time was a lot shorter. The schedule allowed us to have a bit more time this year and we’ll benefit from the three warm-up games we have. We’re very confident we can play good cricket and I’m confident we can bring the urn back with us.”

Sporadic form with the bat saw Cook’s place in the Test side come under pressure over the summer, but the 25-year-old refuses to countenance losing his spot.

He added: “I did struggle for a couple of matches against Pakistan but in the last 12 months I’ve scored four Test hundreds – three in the last eight games – and hopefully I can go out there and prove a few of them wrong.”

England play their first Ashes tour match, against Western Australia in Perth, next week, with the first Test starting on 25 November.