• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Next test for captain Cook is to avoid another ugly defeat in Adelaide

THE First Test in Brisbane turned ugly for England, in more ways than one.

Alastair Cook, the tourists' captain, now has to make sure the second does not follow the same path.

Cook was unable to stop the series opener unravelling for the tourists, as they slid to a landslide defeat amid a poisonous atmosphere at the Gabba - especially between his opposite number Michael Clarke and England tailender James Anderson.

Clarke was fined almost £2,000 for his earthy and threatening advice as Anderson faced match-winner Mitchell Johnson in a cause already long lost. By then, Cook could only watch as England's second collapse of the match saw them bowled out for under 200 again on the way to a 381-run hammering.

Both captains have subsequently spoken to match referee Jeff Crowe, as the International Cricket Council seeks to cool tensions.

Cook admitted: "Anyone who says they've never been affected by sledging is lying. Something will always be said or done which will distract you for that split second. The skill of it is how you handle the next ball."

Cook's method is typically a short walk away from the line of fire between deliveries, in the direction of square leg. "You might listen to it, and get a little bit annoyed," the 28-year-old said. "But then you're like 'right, how do I make sure I'm focusing on the next ball?'.

"I don't think anyone will say they don't hear it or don't recognise it. "They're lying [if they do]. It's how you deal with the next ball, whether you can cope with sledging."

Cook, who still hopes Jonathan Trott can resume his England career at some point after leaving the tour with a stress-related illness, has spent much time over the past week working out who can fill such an important vacancy here.

England may need instant success from the new incumbent, but Cook acknowledges the responsibilities of those already established in the side.

"The senior guys have always got to stand up and deliver," he admitted. "Most of the time, you look at a lot of the Test victories or good wins, it's the senior players who lead it."

Contextual targeting label: 
Food and drink

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.