Despite suffering a miserable 4-0 Test drubbing in India last month, Alastair Cook has made it clear Australia still can’t be written off ahead of this summer’s Ashes series.
It wasn’t just on the field in India that Australia were left embarrassed, as head coach, Mickey Arthur’s decision to suspend four players for failing to submit a feedback report left many conceding this was a squad in disarray ahead of the Ashes.
The England captain knows his side will go into the first of back-to-back Ashes series as favourites in many peoples’ eyes, but Cook has refused to draw too much from Australia’s recent troubles.
Despite Australia’s clear problems going into this summer, England skipper, Cook, knows that form is not as important going into an Ashes series as it may be with other series.
"I wouldn't read too much into what happened in India with Australia. The conditions were very different to what we are going to experience in England,” said Cook.
"They are going to be a very tough side to beat”, Cook said to cricket betting news pundits. “The Ashes is a unique event so hopefully it will bring the best out of both sides. The favourites stuff is all off the field. You can read all you want about that sort of stuff but it is irrelevant."
While Cook couldn’t really say anything else, there is no denying that this has to be the weakest Australia squad an England side will have faced in a good few years.
England might not be in the best of form themselves, a point attested to in the betting news, but it would still be hard to picture anything other than Cook’s men retaining the Ashes by the time the fifth and final Test finishes in August.