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Alastair Cook plays a straight bat to Shane Warne's criticism

Associated Press
Nov 05, 2013 at 02:15pm IST

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Hobart: England skipper Alastair Cook has played a straight bat to Australian great Shane Warne's renewed criticism of his captaincy style, saying only results will matter in the Ashes series starting later this month.

England have won three consecutive Ashes series, including a 3-0 victory at home completed in August, and arrived in Australia confident of winning four straight for the first time since the 19th century.

An English XI plays Australia A in a four-day match starting Wednesday in Hobart, where Cook will bat for the first time on tour after missing a warm-up match in Perth to rest his sore back.

Cook plays a straight bat to Warne's criticism

Cook defended himself by saying, only results will matter in the five-Test Ashes series starting November 21.

Cook put retired Test legspinner Warne's comments this week about his "boring" and "negative" captaincy down to "what happens when England play in Australia."

"I've always said I'm trying to learn on the job from experience and there will be times where I could be slightly more imaginative and think slightly differently if the situation arises," Cook said. "We've had a pretty good run so far as a Test side.

"In my first year as a Test captain we've won away in India, which wasn't done for a long time, won a series against Australia.

"I keep saying it, it's all about results ... we've done quite a lot of winning and that's what it's about."

The 28-year-old opener averages 44 in 20 Tests against Australia, and actually performs better on Australian soil, where he averages 65 in tests. In England's winning 2010-11 tour he scored 766 runs at an average of 127.66 - including three centuries and a high score of 235 not out.

In the recent 2013 series at home he made a meager 277 at 27 in five Tests.

"Any batter knows if you walk around a ground where you have scored runs in the past it gives you a better feeling," he said. "The difference is that I'm now responsible for the team."

England have the four-day match against Australia A in Hobart and another match next week against a New South Wales invitation XI to prepare for the five-Test Ashes series starting Nov. 21 in Brisbane.

The upcoming Ashes series has been moved forward a year to avoid a clash with Australia's hosting of the one-day World Cup next summer.

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