Cook puts Mirpur in Ashes context
Alastair Cook believes the second Test against Bangladesh could play a crucial role in his team’s Ashes defence later this year.
England have plenty of cricket to play before their winter trip Down Under - with the World Twenty20 starting at the end of April followed by a return visit from the Tigers, a home limited-overs series against Australia and the visit of Pakistan.
But the Ashes is never far from the mind of an English cricket fan and the captain today suggested the same was true of the dressing room.
Cook is primarily looking to maintain his 100% record as touring skipper by wrapping up a 2-0 win in Mirpur, but is also mindful that there are good habits to be learned ahead of the Ashes.
England had to settle for a drawn Test series against South Africa after a disappointing performance in the final match saw them surrender a hard-fought lead and Cook wants his players to gain experience of closing out victory at the business end of a tour.
“This is our last away Test match before we go to Australia and that has been noted,” he said.
“This match is hugely relevant (to the Ashes). We’ve talked about the South Africa trip where we were 1-0 up going into the last game and didn’t finish the job.
“Then, we didn’t perform to the standards we’d set ourselves on that trip.
“The next time we could be in this position we’ll be in Australia so this is a really good experience for us as a side.
“We’ve talked about what it means to play for England and how big it is to win 2-0.
“We know the next time we could face this situation it will be the Ashes.
“It is a learning curve for us this week that we hope will help us come January next year.”
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29