Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Won't Let Complacency Upset England's Status as Odds-On Favourites

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Won't Let Complacency Upset England's Status as Odds-On Favourites

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Brenkley in Dunedin

ENGLAND begin an arduous year of Test cricket tonight in the relative tranquillity of the University Oval, Dunedin. And whatever happens in the first match of three against New Zealand on the student campus, the tourists will be aware that it can only get tougher from here on.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, said today: "We've a huge year of Test cricket ahead of us and on the one-day front we have the Champions Trophy as well.

"But we can't think about that just yet. We've got to focus on this opening Test, and worry about all the other stuff, like 10 Tests against Australia, afterwards. This is a really exciting time to be an English cricketer.

"Everyone has seen in the Twenty20s and one-dayers how competitive both sides were in two really good series. But if we play to our potential we're going to be a hard side to beat."

That was probably Cook-speak for anticipating nothing less than a crushing victory. England start as overwhelming favourites to win the match -- 9-4 on with bookmakers William Hill -- and the series.

The Kiwis were pummelled from pillar to post on their tour of South Africa last month when they lost both Tests by an innings and while the return of their former captain, Ross Taylor (right), clearly strengthens the batting, nothing suggests they will live with England over 15 scheduled days of Test cricket.

Indeed, the relatively benign conditions expected in Dunedin may be their best chance of retaining parity. New Zealand may draw some comfort from the fact that they have lost none of the previous four Tests to be played at the ground.

England will almost certainly revert to their favoured combination outside Asia of playing six batsmen, four bowlers and a wicketkeeper. That means the bowling quartet of Jimmy Anderson, Steve Finn, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann will play together for only the eighth occasion, reunited for the first time since the Third Test against South Africa at Lord's last summer. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.