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Cook relishing Headingley Test

— 19 June 2014

England captain Alastair Cook has called for more of the same from his England side ahead of the final Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.

England were just one wicket from securing victory in the first Test Match of the summer, but captain Cook believes that if his side performs to the same level then they will have no trouble claiming the decisive win.

  • He said: “We played really well at Lords but that’s gone we have to start again and earn the right to get into the position that we got into, and that was dominating Sri Lanka but it took four and a half days to do that.

    “I expect nothing different, we’ve been pushed in the ODIs and at times in that Test Match. Yes we want to win this game and win the series and move on to India but to do that we’re going to have to play some good cricket.”

    He added: “From inside the camp the last week couldn’t have gone any better for us as a side, yes we didn’t quite get over the line but what we did I was incredibly proud of. If we play that way every time in a test match that I’m captain I’ll be incredibly proud.”

    Cook, England’s all-time leading Test century maker, has suffered from a well-publicized loss of form of late but he is looking forward to returning to the ground where he scored his last Test century against New Zealand last year.

    The England skipper said: “It looks a good wicket, a good grass covering as well.

    “Speaking to the Yorkshire lads who have played here all or for a lot of their careers say that when there’s a little bit of grass left on it then it keeps the pace and carry so hopefully that will be the case and it will be a bit quicker than Lords.

    “I thought we were outstanding at Lords in how we kept going on that wicket and we almost got there in the end. The skill levels the guys showed on a flat wicket where the margin for error was very small was outstanding.”

    Cook also reserved special praise for Yorkshire fast bowling all-rounder Liam Plunkett, who returned to the international stage at Lords last week.
    “Liam was excellent, he bowled with some serious pace and fitted in to the environment really well from where he had been, 7 years is a long time to be out”, Cook commented.

    Plunkett will be joined by fellow Yorkshire players Joe Root and Gary Ballance in the field on Friday as England bid to bounce back from the disastrous Ashes campaign in the winter by winning the first series of the summer.

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