England chasing Ashes glory

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While his opposite number Michael Clarke admitted he is heading towards the twilight of his career — and had to fend off questions about his future — the England skipper was in bullish mood.

‘Because of the way the series is poised at 2-1, there’s an opportunity for someone to really make a name for themselves in the history of English cricket,’ said Cook.

‘If someone scores a really big hundred or takes six or seven wickets to help England win the game, their name will be etched in history for ever.’

The captain all but confirmed that Durham paceman Mark Wood will come in to replace James Anderson, who is spending time in an oxygen chamber in a bid to be fit for the series finale at The Oval later this

month after straining his side in the victory at Edgbaston.

Cook said Wood was in ‘pole position’ to come back after missing out in Birmingham and added: ‘I thought he bowled really well at Cardiff, didn’t quite get it right at Lord’s, and he’s looked fit and ready. Everything he’s been asked to do he’s come through with flying colours.

‘It’s been a brilliant series, strange in terms of the topsy-turvy nature of the results. The atmosphere at Edgbaston was amazing but we earned the right to get the crowd on our side and hopefully we can do the same here.’

Clarke, who has made only 94 runs from six innings in the series, said: ‘There’s no doubt I’m coming to the back end of my career.

‘I’m 34 years of age. There were question marks about my will to play for Australia and my will to be successful. If I didn’t want to be here I wouldn’t be working as hard as I am.

‘Getting out of bed to get better hasn’t become tougher at all. When that becomes too hard it’s time for me to walk away.

‘But just about everyone said I wouldn’t get back for the World Cup and I proved then that I was willing to do the work.

‘If I didn’t have the will to be the best I wouldn’t be sitting here today. I’ve still got that love, desire and passion.

‘Playing sport at the highest level, it’s a rollercoaster ride, it’s about picking yourself up when things don’t go to plan.

‘It’s not going to be a lack of desire or preparation, I can guarantee you we are going to have a red hot crack.’

Clarke would not comment on his probable side but said Shaun Marsh, who is likely to replace Adam Voges in the middle order, had been ‘close in every Test’. – Daily Mail

Original source: England chasing Ashes glory

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