The third Test will be ‘a real defining moment’ for Cook, says Shane Warne

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“It’s hard to see a way right now where England can come back”

Former Australia spin king Shane Warne has announced that the third Ashes Test in Perth will be “a real defining moment” in Alastair Cook’s reign as captain since he has the opportunity to make or break England’s campaign.

With England already trailing 2-0, Cook has the chance to close the gap and bring his team closer to retaining the Ashes if he is able to lead his side to victory in Perth.

However, that will be easier said than done due to the fact that England have not beaten Australia in Perth since 1978.

“It’s hard to see a way right now where England can come back,” Warne told Sky Sports. “They don’t play very well in Perth, and Australia are on a roll and they do play well in Perth.

“It’s going to be fast and bouncy, and quick, we’ve seen Mitchell Johnson thunderbolt, so unless something changes really quickly for England – let’s all hope it does – unfortunately I can only see one result in Perth.

“England have got to show they’re up for it and I hope Alastair Cook eyeballs every one of his players and says ‘are you up for it? What have you got? Have you got your best game in Perth? Are you ready to play and take these guys on?’.

“That has to be him, so it’s a real defining moment for me, to watch Alastair Cook do that and the players, the experienced players, need to stand up.”

Former England captain David Lloyd believes that Cook and head coach Andy Flower have to change the team’s strategy and approach heading into the third Test.

“They’re a distant second and they’ve got to start again at Perth in just a few days’ time,” Lloyd told Sky Sports. “They’ve got to come up with answers.

“If you look at both coaches, Darren Lehmann will be absolutely thrilled. He’ll get a pizza, have a couple of beers and a sing-song.

“If you look at Andy Flower, he’s got sleepless nights to come up with a formula, with a combination, because he needs to win two Test matches.”

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