Cook fit for Australia A fixture

England

Captain Alastair Cook is expected to be named in England's XI for a crucial four-day tour fixture against Australia A, which will get underway in Hobart on Wednesday.

Captain Alastair Cook is expected to be named in England's XI for a crucial four-day tour fixture against Australia A, which will get underway in Hobart on Wednesday.

Cook, who was nursing a minor back injury, was rested for the drawn three-day match against the Western Australian Chairman's XI in Perth last week.

"The back's coming along nicely," said Cook. "It's obviously probably a mixture of the long flight and then doing quite a bit of hard training straightaway.

"It's not a great combination for a guy with a bit of a dodgy back. But I'm very proud of my fitness record in terms of the number of consecutive games I've played for England.

"I feel as if I'm right back there. I would have liked to have spent some time in the middle already – you don't know what's going to happen in these two games.

"Every opportunity you get the chance to spend some time you try to take. That's a little bit frustrating, but we've got two four-day games now."

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne recently suggested Cook's "negative" approach will cost the tourists the Ashes. The Englishman, however, insisted there was little substance to the remarks.

"It doesn't seem times have changed at all, does it, since last summer? It's pretty much exactly what was said in the summer. We had pretty good results then as well," added Cook.

"Obviously, it's a very high-profile series, and a there's a lot of interest.
"It hasn't changed since the summer, and we don't expect it to over the next couple of months either."

The first Test will get underway in Brisbane on 21 November. Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will host fixtures two, three, four and five respectively.

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