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“Australia have a very good record in Brisbane, it’s our job to try and change that”
England captain Alastair Cook has announced that his side have “no reason to feel intimidated” by the fact that Australia haven’t lost at the Gabba in Brisbane for 25 years.
Despite England’s last victory at the Gabba coming all the way back in 1986, Cook is determined on becoming the man who ended Australia’s 25-year unbeaten streak at the ground during the first Ashes Test, which gets underway tomorrow.
“There’s no reason to feel intimidated,” Cook said. “A lot of players in the squad we have this year were here in 2010-11 so we’ve all got experience of winning in Australia and we’re trying to use that to the best of our ability.
“We know how important this game was last time for setting up the series.
“Australia have a very good record in Brisbane, it’s our job to try and change that.”
Cook was still unsure about whether vice-captain and wicketkeeper Matt Prior will be fit enough for the first Test after he tore his left calf muscle during England’s four-day warm-up match against Australia A in Hobart.
“He has the last part of his fitness test to go, came through all we asked of him yesterday and trained really well,” Cook said. “With these leg injuries, it’s normally how they pull up the next day.
“When you’re getting close to fitness, how you pull up after a strenuous session gives a really good indication. We’ll know pretty soon. We’ll know today.
“Some people always pull up badly in the morning, but we should know today.”
Cook also took the opportunity to address the fact that pace bowler Stuart Broad will be the target of a majority of the banter by the Australian fans after he refused to walk during the first Ashes Test in Trent Bridge in July, despite having clearly edged the ball to the slips.
“He’s a very combative character,” Cook said. “He’s an ‘in-yer-face’ kind of cricketer, and I like that about him.
“You set him a challenge – you saw at Durham when hadn’t bowled very well, the challenge was set in the dressing room at tea.
“We said ‘we need to take this game by the scruff of the neck if we want to win it’ – and he stood up and delivered.
“He’s done that a number of times for England, magic spells of bowling.”