Alastair Cook insists England are fully aware they will need to be on top of their game “to do something special” in Australia this winter.
Cook’s men will head Down Under chasing a fourth successive Ashes series victory, a feat last achieved in 1890 under the leadership of the great W.G. Grace.
“What is in front of us is the opportunity to play well and to do something special and to win four in a row, which hasn’t been done for a very long time, and as a side you want to be involved in that sort of thing,” he told ecb.co.uk.
Cook has been an ever-present in England’s run of three straight wins so knows what it takes to enjoy success in Australia, on an individual level and as a team. The opener inspired England to a 3-1 series triumph in 2010-11 with 766 runs at an average of 127.66.
Barring a slow start in Brisbane and a slip-up in Perth, England eased to victory, winning three matches by an innings.
Fans interested in cricket test betting are not expecting such a gap between the two teams this time around, and Cook has braced himself for a fierce Ashes battle.
“They’re a good side at home. You saw how they played against South Africa a couple of years ago and it’s pretty much the same team as that,” the 28-year-old added.
“We know we’ve got to be on top of our game to do something special, and that’s the beauty of sport.”
England enjoyed a 3-0 win on home soil during the English summer but the scoreline did not reflect how close the series was. The latest cricket betting suggests that a repeat of that performance, with so many key batsmen failing consistency, could well see Cook’s side hand the urn back over to their bitter rivals.