Looking forward to play against Australia: Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook said that it will be great to see some new guys in Australian team but it counts for little if you are comparing it to an Ashes AFP

Leeds: Jun 23, 2012

England one-day captain Alastair Cook is preparing to get an early look at Australia ahead of the old-rivals’ limited overs series by playing for county side Essex against the tourists on Tuesday.

“Everyone always looks forward to England playing Australia,” said Cook after the the third one-day international against the West Indies at Headingley here on Friday was washed out without a ball being bowled.

“It’s going to be another good series — they are the world’s number one ranked side in one-day cricket so it’s going to be another good real test for us in our home conditions.

England play Australia in five one-day internationals starting at Lord’s on June 29.

But before then Australia, who started their tour with a 102-run defeat of Leicestershire on Thursday, play Ireland in a one-day international in Belfast on Saturday before facing Essex at Chelmsford, east of London, on Tuesday.

Cook made his name when, yet to be picked by England, he scored 214 for Essex against Australia in a two-day game at Chelmsford in 2005 with county and England colleague Ravi Bopara weighing in with 135 as they shared a second-wicket stand of 270.

Opening batsman Cook, who against the West Indies led England to a 2-0 series win after victories by 114 runs at Southampton and eight wickets at The Oval — where the left-hander scored 112 — is not in England’s Twenty20 squad.

And that means he will miss the T20 international against the West Indies at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge on Sunday.

The Twenty20 squad also be without Ian Bell, who marked his return to England one-day duty by being named man of the series against the West Indies with scores of 126 in Southampton and 53 at The Oval after opening in place of Kevin Pietersen, who has retired from international white ball cricket.

“It’s always frustrating when you don’t get selected, you’ve just got to wait your chance and take it as Belly did in this series,” said Cook.

Asked if he would play in Tuesday’s match, Cook replied: “I think so. (Otherwise) I won’t have had bat for a week between games.”

The upcoming England-Australia series is being billed in some quarters as a dress rehearsal for next year’s Ashes campaign in England.

However, the 27-year-old Cook said: “It will be great to see some new guys in their team but it counts for little if you are comparing it to an Ashes.

“But it’s a very big series for us as a one-day team.”

For the West Indies, Sunday’s Twenty20 clash offers them one last chance his trip to beat England following a 2-0 defeat in the Test series against England earlier this tour.

“All of us in the team were very happy about the prospects for the one-day series,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy. “But it’s a perfect case — cricket, you don’t play it on paper.

“You can have the best-looking team but you’ve got to go out and perform and we’ve not done that. England went about doing their jobs very professionally.”

Sunday’s match comes ahead of West Indies’ two Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand in Miami on June 30 and July 1, which precede three one-dayers in the Caribbean.

“It would be a good way to end on a high note, winning the T20 and taking that into the one-day series against New Zealand,” added all-rounder Sammy. (AFP)