Cook: We never lost belief after Cardiff


England Test captain Alastair Cook says he never stopped believing that his side could win the Ashes, even though Australia were favourites, and they were never down-hearted, even after the Lord's defeat.

England won the series 3-2, but won the first Test in Cardiff. That win in the opening again, inside four days and against all expectation, gave them the belief that they could win the series.

They went on to lose at Lord's, but won at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge to seal the series with a game to play. While they did lose the final Test at The Oval, Cook was pleased with their mental fortitude.

Cook said as part of an MCC panel discussion at Lord's this week: "Australia came as firm favourites, but as a player and as a team you need to have a bit of substance in your belief.

"You turn up to Cardiff and you look at the Australians and like we always do we probably build up the opposition in our own minds a bit.

"Australia beat West Indies more convincingly than we did, they had an outstanding run of games. In my mind I thought we could win if we played to our absolute potential.

"When we left Cardiff we knew these guys were beatable, and that was the big difference. We'd done it once, it was just whether we could do it consistently. But I know we could win the Ashes because we'd just beaten them, and we could put Australia under pressure in our conditions.

"Everyone looked at each other at the end of that game, we had a few drinks in the dressing room at Cardiff, and that was the most important message I could get across to the guys.

"'We've proven we can do it once, if you can do it once you can do it three times'. They clearly ignored everything I said and we got hammered at Lord's three days later, but at the end of the summer we proved it."