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Familiarity breeds interest for Cook

England captain Alastair Cook believes the quick turnaround in Ashes series lends an intriguing edge to this winter’s showdown in Australia.

Cook held his first press conference of the tour in Perth today, two months and one day on from joyous scenes at the Kia Oval after England completed a 3-0 home win to make it three consecutive triumphs over their oldest rivals.

The pursuit of a fourth-straight Ashes success for the first time since the 19th century takes place with both sides holding precious few aces up their sleeves having repeatedly shown their hands throughout a hard-fought summer of cricket.

And Cook believes players and fans will be treated to a fascinating battle between two sets of players who know one another inside out.

"It's slightly strange for it to happen so quickly,” he said. “It doesn't seem like any time in history we've played 10 Tests against the same opposition within six months so it is a little bit strange.

“It doesn't seem that long ago since we were here sitting doing exactly the same thing in Perth in 2010.”

"That's one of the very interesting things for people watching: sides start to work out guys very well and how people react to knowing what the plans are going to be, and how they react themselves.

Captain Alastair Cook, third left, believe there will be few secrets between England and Australia during this winter's Ashes series

"There are quite clear plans to a lot of players which are quite well known to the players and the public. Just seeing how certain people overcome that will be interesting.”

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have both played starring roles in England’s recent Ashes victories and Cook has thrown down the gauntlet to their fellow seamers in the touring party.

Rangy pacemen Steven Finn, Boyd Rankin and Chris Tremlett may relish Australian conditions, while Tim Bresnan’s progress towards fitness from a stress-fractured back means Cook and team director Andy Flower have a plethora of options.

But the Essex opener suggested that quartet are locked in a battle for one spot by the time the first Test at the Gabba comes around on November 21 and has urged them to make a strong case for selection over the coming weeks.

"It's quite clear to see that Jimmy and Broady have done enough over their fantastic careers to be first-choice bowlers," Cook said.

"We tend to play three quicks so there's one place up for grabs. It's pretty clear for everyone to know that and people have got to stick their hand up.

"If they do well in these warm-up games with the opportunities they get, they're going to put their name there."

As in their successful 2010-11 tour, England will fine tune themselves over the course of three warm-up matches.

Cook is happy to stick with a tried-and-trusted formula while being flexible enough to accommodate the different qualities present in the class of 2013.

"It was very similar to what we did last time in 2010. Three warm-up games should give you enough time for some time in the middle and some miles in the legs for the bowlers," he said.

"We've got a long build-up. I think you need that for such an important tour. I think we'd be foolish not to look back at what we did in that tour and what we did very well.

“But you've got to remember we're a different side now, things have evolved. We've got different players, different personnel.

"We can look at the very good things we did and try and replicate them but we can't just copy it outright because our side is different."

A fixture clash with a state game means the Western Australia side England face on Thursday will contain a number of youngsters and Cook has warned his team-mates to be on their guard against hungry, up-and-coming players who will be keen to make a name for themselves against the old enemy.

He added: "It gives them an opportunity and there'll be some young guys trying to stake a claim to get in the WA side."

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