Cook not bothered by 'Gabba reputation

England

England captain Alastair Cook is looking forward to breaking Australia's winning run at the 'Gabba this week, where they have not lost a Test since late 1988, against the West Indies.

England captain Alastair Cook is looking forward to breaking Australia's winning run at the 'Gabba this week, where they have not lost a Test since late 1988, against the West Indies.

The first Ashes Test takes place at the Brisbane venue, starting on Thursday, and Cook says the record does not bother him or his players, given they have chased many such obstacles down with great success in recent years.

Cook said: "Australia have a very good record in Brisbane, and it's our job to try to change that. We've spoken about their record here – not losing for 25 years is a good achievement.

"We spoke about something like this at Lord's in 2009, when we played them (and won). We hadn't beaten them for 70-odd years at Lord's, and we made a real conscious effort to try to change that.

"This side has done that a number of times – when there have been specific challenges ahead of us, we've delivered."

The Essex man went on to say that while the Aussies may have a strong record in Brisbane, his men would be using their prior experiences to bolder their confidence, and would not be intimidated by the atmosphere.

The skipper continued: "There's no reason to feel intimidated. A lot of players in this squad were here in 2010/11 – we've all got experience of winning in Australia.

"We're trying to use that to the best of our ability, and we know how important this game was last time for setting up the series.

"We certainly don't fear anyone. That's quite clear to see, the way we go about our business. We're a very competitive side, and there's no reason to fear any side out there."

Cook added that one player not slightly scared about the challenge was Stuart Broad, who drew the ire of many an Aussie after his non-walk at Trent Bridge. But Cook said Broad was taking the attention as motivation.

He said: "He's a very combative character. He's an in-yer-face kind of cricketer, and I like that about him.

"Any time you set him a challenge – you saw (in the Ashes-clinching victory in August) at Durham when we 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. He has the ability to change games very quickly…and he is raring to go."

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