Cook keeps ’em hun­gry in quest for 4-0

Midweek Sport - - SPORT - By BOB FLEM­ING

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.”

Trou­bled

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

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