Cape Town - Proteas opening
batsman, Stephen Cook, says Australia’s bowling attack will be given due
respect in the first Test starting at the WACA ground on Thursday.
Mitchell Starc has been tipped as the home team’s danger-man, the Proteas’ batsmen
will be preparing and making plans for the entire attack, which boasts skilled
bowlers capable of making an impact on the day.
Cook and the new-comers in
the line-up have tapped into the experience of the senior batsmen who have had
success at the WACA in the past, and have adopted an ‘assess and adapt’
approach ahead of the series opener.
“They are a world-class
unit,” he said of Australia’s attack. “They are going to challenge us in
different ways, they have a lot of variation. They have left-arm, in the ‘A’
series I faced Joe Mennie and he brings something different to the party. They
are a well varied attack and we are going to have to have all of our bases
covered. We are under no illusions that they are a good unit, especially in
their home conditions, we will be challenged but we are up for it.
“Opening the batting in any
country in any conditions is important,” he stressed. “To follow in the
footsteps of guys like Graeme (Smith), who obviously had a fantastic record, is
a big responsibility. I have always been one to try and front up to the
challenge and try to play my part in a team performance.
“What holds me in good stead
is that my home ground back home is the Wanderers. It’s probably the one ground
in the world that is more similar to Perth in terms of pace and bounce. I will
try and take a few of those lessons I have learnt in my career playing over
there and translate them into playing here.”
Cook scored a hundred on his
debut against England at SuperSport Park in January, and although he has only
played three Test matches, boasts an impressive CV of 16 years’ worth of
first-class experience. Despite turning out low scores in the warm-up matches,
the 33-year-old says he feels in ‘decent’ form and will be starting the match
with a fresh slate in a series he describes as the ‘pinnacle’ of his young Test
“It’s a lifelong dream,” he
said of playing Australia in Australia. “When I played my first Test I said it
was dream to play one Test. As cricketers we are never satisfied, if you get a
taste of something you want more. This is an iconic series, it’s been a series
where a lot of players and team’s careers have been defined and therein lies a
wonderful opportunity for the team and for me as an individual to make my stamp
and put my mark on it.”