Warm-up wins mean nothing - Cook
Alastair Cook wants to put England’s warm-up victories to one side and focus on picking up a first series win as captain.
Cook, handed a first tour of duty as skipper in Bangladesh, has presided over a trouble-free opening week in the job.
He has picked up two brisk half-centuries in convincing back-to-back wins over a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI and has no injury worries to deal with.
Cook is keen to avoid placing too much significance on the practice victories, during which he announced his return to 50-over cricket with confident knocks of 56 and 52.
“It’s been a good week so far. We’ve played some very good cricket in the warm-up games and improved in the areas we wanted to,” he said.
“But that doesn’t count for anything before the first international game so we have to come out firing and play the cricket we have been playing for the last eight months.
“The lads have built up nicely with the matches (against Pakistan) in Dubai and the two warm-ups here, but everyone has talked about how we have to be on our game. There’s no complacency.”
Cook has led his country in international cricket just once before, a Twenty20 defeat against South Africa after Paul Collingwood’s late withdrawal from the side.
He had virtually no time to prepare himself for the moment then, but has had several weeks to build up to tomorrow’s contest.
Reflecting on the occasion, he said: “It’s a hugely proud moment for me, but that’s beside the point.
“It is a proud time but I’ll be even prouder if we go out and play some good cricket, execute our skills well and are good enough to win.
“Being comfortable with the captaincy is something that comes with time in the job as you gain in confidence. As time goes on you feel more settled and less new in the role.”
Cook is equally determined to make an impact at the top of the order as he bids to prove his worth in one-day cricket.
The left-hander has been confined to the status of Test specialist for much of the last two years, but is keen to showcase the new-found power he has developed in the shorter form.
“I’m desperate to show people I can play one-day cricket,” he said.
“I have done well in the past: I scored a hundred against India and then tailed off and was dropped, so I feel like I have got a little point to prove with my batting and hopefully I can do that here.
“Last summer, when I played some Twenty20 cricket for Essex, really helped - the relaxation of just having to go and smash it.
"I was playing shots I didn’t think I could play. When the shots come off it’s amazing what a bit of confidence can do.”
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