Sydney - Alastair Cook insists England are not expecting to trounce Australia
in this year's Ashes, despite their rivals' dismal recent tour of
According to the stuff.co.nz website, while England were underwhelming in their recent drawn Test series
with New Zealand, their woes paled in comparison to those of an
Australian side thrashed 4-0 by the same India side Cook's men had
beaten 2-1 just three months earlier.
Michael Clarke's team passed 400 just once in eight innings and
never got close to dismissing India twice, but Cook expects them to be
in far better shape come the first Test at Trent Bridge.
"Everyone would be slightly foolish to think that the side Australia bring aren't going to be strong," Cook said.
"Anyone who thinks this is going to be a really easy series is going
to be in for a huge surprise because as far as the England team is
concerned there's no such thing as a weak Australia side."
The Australian top order looked especially vulnerable against spin
on the sub-continent and with their own slow bowlers largely
unimpressive, Cook refused to rule out preparing a string of turning
wickets as his side look to beat their oldest enemy for a third straight
"You've got to use home advantage as best you can," he said.
"Sometimes the pitch condition is down to what the summer is like, and you can't really control the weather.
"You can try and set it up the best you can but sometimes you can
overcomplicate things like that and try and get too funky. At the end of
the day the side that plays the best cricket is going to win that