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Cook ready to change course in search of Ashes glory

Alastair Cook

Cardiff (United Kingdom):  England captain Alastair Cook has said he is willing to alter his leadership style if it helps get the best out of a new-look side during the Ashes.

Cook has repeatedly been criticised for being an excessively cautious skipper since taking on the post of England captain three years ago.

That ‘grinding’ approach saw England win the Ashes 3-0 on home soil in 2013 but was powerless to prevent Australia whitewashing Cook’s men ‘Down Under’ in 2013/14.

Trevor Bayliss, England’s new Australian coach, has told the side they must “fight fire with fire” if they are to regain the Ashes.

Yet there is an acknowledgement too from all involved with England that recklessness is not the same thing as aggression.

There were signs of greater boldness during England’s recent drawn Test series with New Zealand, although this was more to do with the performances of individual players rather than a huge tactical shift on Cook’s part.

But while Cook is unlikely to abandon the approach to batting that has made him England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, he is happy to be less defensive tactically if it helps get the best out of the likes of relative newcomers such as all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Mark Wood.

“At certain times I have to be able to get on that front foot as well as a captain … with this set of players,” said Cook on the eve of the first Test against Australia in Cardiff starting on Wednesday.

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