Cook keeps ’em hungry in quest for 4-0
THE goal is already achieved – but England captain Alastair Cook is determined to deliver a final Ashes insult to the Aussies.
Victory in Durham moved the hosts into a 3-0 series lead, ensuring the urn would stay with England for the third time in a row.
But Cook is adamant there will be no loss of competitive edge at the Oval today.
The tantalising prospect of becoming the first England side to win a home Ashes series 4-0 means he expects his men to go in hungry for the win.
“Our preparation has been excellent, training has been good and we haven’t done anything different than if it was 1-1 in the series,” said Cook.
“To win the Ashes 4-0 has never been done before, so I think that is our motivation as a side. I think it would be very special.
“We don’t need extra motivaton. To win a Test match is enough for us – it always is. We have a lot of record breakers in this team and the chance to add another little notch is a great motivator. Any time you can beat Australia is a great feeling.
“We’ve always said Australia are a good Test side and they’ve played some good cricket, but we have won some critical moments and won those moments well.
“That’s why we’re 3-0 up and I think we’re good value for 3-0. I’m proud of the way the lads have achieved that, but with 4-0 you would have achieved something very special.”
Australia have confirmed that all-rounder James Faulkner will make his Test bow in the match, a curious move that would appear to leave their already troubled batting line-up even lighter.
The 23-year-old will be the 17th player to don the Baggy Green in the series. England have brought new faces of their own to London, with uncapped duo Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan on hand and Chris Tremlett angling for his first appearance in 18 months.
After his impressive efforts Down Under in 2010-11, there appears to be an enthusiasm to see the physically imposing Tremlett take on Australia again.
But Steven Finn, who started the series in the first team, is also pushing for a recall.
Cook said: “Chris has got a good chance.
“Coming from that height, it’s very hard for a batter to score from him when he gets it right.
“So it’s great that he’s come back and he just adds more competition for places.”
HE’S SHADING IT: Tremlett could finally get his Test chance on his home ground NEW FACE: Cook has spinner Kerrigan
in his squad
BAPTISM OF FIRE: Faulkner is set for his Test debut at the Oval