Sydney: England captain Alastair Cook has said that he is confident that he can overcome a perceived weakness against left-arm pace and defy a strangely poor record at Trent Bridge, the scene of the first Ashes Test.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia has made no secret of the feeling that Cook struggles against left-arm pace, which he has encountered relatively little of until this year``s home and away series against New Zealand. Although Cook has fallen to Kiwi left-arm bowler Trent Boult four times in four Tests, however, he believes that he has come up with some answers simply through more exposure to left-armers. According to Cook, there are a few left-armers in the world cricket as compared to right-armers, adding that given the amount of left-armers that they faced in New Zealand, he felt that as if his game has improved a lot against the left-arm over the past few months. Meanwhile, the report further said that Cook has done his homework on Australian quick Mitchell Starc, who is favourite to share the new ball with James Pattinson, and looms as a critical figure in the series, not just because of his wicket-taking potential, with the England skipper saying that Starc has made a good start to his international career.
The report also said that Starc’s giant footmarks would create a patch of rough for Graeme Swann and Nathan Lyon to exploit. Cook, who averages just 19.5 at Trent Bridge but over 40 everywhere else in England, also said that he expects conditions to be favourable for batting during the first Test when the sun is shining in Nottingham, adding that English conditions are very different when the sun is out from the conditions during a cloudy and overcast day.
Australia``s batsmen are preparing to confront the two forces that have troubled them most - swing and spin - and skipper Michael Clarke was confident in Ed Cowan to hold up an end, the report added.