Cook ready for tough chal­lenge

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Alas­tair Cook knows his Eng­land side are in for a se­vere test as they pre­pare for a gru­elling set of fix­tures on the sub-con­ti­nent. Eng­land play two Tests against Bangladesh, which are im­me­di­ately fol­lowed by a tough five-Test se­ries in In­dia. “We have got seven games in these con­di­tions and it’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge,” said Cook. “For how­ever long I’ve played for Eng­land, I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced seven Test matches in eight weeks in the sub-con­ti­nent. “But these chal­lenges can re­ally unite a side and we have to get off to a good start.” After some time off for the birth of his sec­ond child, Cook will be­come Eng­land’s most capped Test player when he leads his side out tomorrow against Bangladesh in Chit­tagong. The skip­per will break Alex Stewart’s record of 133 Test matches, some­thing he mod­estly ad­mits is down to a mix­ture of luck and for­tune. “I started how­ever many years ago and never thought I’d get any­where near so to break a record like that is very special,” he added. “A lot of luck is needed with in­juries and all that stuff and to score just enough runs at the right time to keep your­self in the team. “If I’m be­ing bru­tally hon­est, it hasn’t been that close to my mind. The fam­ily stuff has taken that away so I haven’t re­ally thought much about it.”

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