England told to forget the winter and seal the series

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook has told his team-mates to focus on wrapping up a series win against Australia and forget about rubbing salt in the wounds in the winter return series Down Under.

Heavy rain at Old Trafford put paid to Australia’s chances of winning the third Test yesterday, despite a profitable morning session where England were reduced to 35-3 chasing 332.

The match was abandoned as a draw by the umpires in the afternoon, with only two runs added to the score due to unrelenting rainfall, ensuring England maintained their 2-0 lead in the series.

However, with two Test matches still to play this summer, Cook insists England will not get carried away and turn their attention towards recording a repeat performance when the first of five Ashes Tests begins in Brisbane on 21 November.

“We’ve made a conscious effort not to put the two series together,” he said. “We’ve made them separate entities and that is how we look at it. When we get to Australia we’ll concentrate on how we’ll win them there.

“We’ve got to go to Durham now and try to win these Ashes there.”

Cook fell lbw to Ryan Harris (2-13) in the third over of the morning with England still yet to score and the same bowler claimed the wicket of Jonathan Trott, who edged down the leg side to Brad Haddin behind the stumps.

Kevin Pietersen was adjudged to have edged a Peter Siddle delivery behind to Haddin with the score on just 27, despite the protestations and failed review from the batsman. However, the rain came to England’s rescue.