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Cook frustrated at MCG loss

Skipper Alastair Cook was left to rue England letting a good position slip following their eight-wicket defeat in the Boxing Day Test.

The tourists appeared to hold a winning hand yesterday, when they led by 116 with 10 second-innings wickets remaining.

However, a collapse left Australia a victory target of 231 – which they ultimately chased down for the loss of just two wickets at the MCG.

“It is disappointing,” said Cook. “It is pretty easy to see why we lost the game of cricket; you can take some good stuff from the fact we got ourselves in a situation to try and win the game.

“That might show us where we are as a side in terms of our confidence and our belief. When you’re winning, you nail that situation.

Alastair Cook cut a frustrated figure after England fell to an eight-wicket defeat in the fourth Ashes Test match at the MCG“But we have not been winning and that probably reflects why we let it slip. For two and a half days we were in the fight and showing some good skills.

“I don’t think it was a lack of fight; it was a lack of skills at crucial times.”

Australia resumed today at 30 without loss and were aided by England dropping a few early chances.

Chris Rogers made full use of his reprieve, striking 116 as the hosts ultimately moved 4-0 ahead with a game to play.

Cook has experienced a 5-0 whitewash on these shores seven years ago and is determined not to endure a repeat.

He added: “It is a tough time when you're losing games of cricket. In the first half-hour today, we created three chances. You've got to take those with a low target.

“We have got to keep working as hard as we can at our games and it will hopefully turn. The crowd and support we have make us proud to wear the shirt. Obviously, we're not doing it justice at the moment but we're trying as hard as we can.

“We need a magic performance, in terms of someone getting a brilliant hundred and dragging someone with him; or somebody getting a brilliant five-for. That is the kind of thing we need in Sydney.”

One positive for the captain in this Test was becoming the youngest batsman to score 8,000 Test runs.

Cook said: “It was nice to get past the milestone; it’s taken a little bit longer than I hoped with the last few games but it was a bit of a positive for me.”

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