England now better prepared to defend Ashes after Bangladesh series win: Cook

England stand-in captain Alastair Cook believes the series win against Bangladesh could serve his team well next winter, when they defend the Ashes in Australia.

“I think it’s done us the world of good in terms of how hard we’ve had to work for results here. Coming here under the expectation to win all our matches and delivering when it matters in hard conditions, in terms of the heat and the very flat pitches, can only bode well for us when it becomes tough in Australia,” Cook said.

Cook finished unbeaten on 109, his second century of the series. After running out Jonathan Trott for 19, it was his partnership of 167 in 31 overs with an effervescent Kevin Pietersen which killed off any hopes Bangladesh had of drawing the match, something they have managed in only six of their 67 Tests.

Improving that particular statistic probably accounted for the comatose pitches in the series.

If Cook’s batting could not be faulted here or in the one-day series, his captaincy, under greater scrutiny as Strauss’s likely successor, was perhaps best seen as a work in progress.

Like so many England captains, caution was his default setting, though the selectors did eventually see the superfluity of playing a sixth batsman and jettisoned him for the extra bowler in this Test. Just as well, too — James Tredwell had a debut to remember with six for 181 in the match.

“Captaincy has been a massive eye-opener for me. Over the four weeks of doing the job I’ve learnt where I need to get better in terms of leadership in the dressing room. I can now go back and speak to people who can help to get the best out of me as a captain,” Cook said. (ANI)

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