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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 08:09 GMT
Cook excited by Test opportunity
Alastair Cook
He's got a temperament beyond his years
Essex team-mate Ronnie Irani on Cook
Essex opener Alastair Cook is relishing the prospect of his first Test cap after joining England's squad in India.

Cook flew to the subcontinent from the West Indies where he had been playing for the England A team.

"If you are playing for England and making your Test debut, you will be up for anything.

"It has been a bit of a trek. I am a bit jet-lagged from all the travel but once the day comes I'll be fine," the 21-year-old said.

Cook has spent a lot of time on planes this winter, having being summoned to join England's pre-Christmas tour to Pakistan as cover for Vaughan.

He did not play a Test during that trip but following Vaughan's abortive net session on Monday and Trescothick's return home for family reasons, he looks certain to partner Andrew Strauss in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh are likely to post the main threat to England's chances.

And Cook is grateful that he spent time in India last year honing his technique during a trip arranged by his county.

"I batted for two weeks in the nets, solely against spinners.

"The nets got progressively worse and worse because of wear and tear and it gave a pretty good idea of how to play spin," he said.

Cook is a former England Under-19 captain and underlined his potential with a superb double century for Essex against Australia last summer.

His county captain Ronnie Irani, a former England all-rounder, told BBC Radio Five Live: "He's a young man but he's got the temperament of someone beyond his years.

"Technically he's excellent too - all he hasn't got is that vital ingredient which is experience and you only get that by playing against the best in the world.

To me he looked ready to play in Pakistan
Strauss on Cook

"He'll improve and I can see this guy being a fine player and great talent for England over the next 10-12 years."

Strauss has no doubts that Cook has what it takes to succeed at Test level.

"He has a really mature head on his shoulders and everyone I have spoken to who has seen him play in county cricket has been very impressed by him.

"To me he looked ready to play in Pakistan. He definitely has the Test pedigree and there is no reason he will not go out and score runs."


ENGLAND SQUAD GUIDE
 

INDIA SQUAD GUIDE
 

SEE ALSO
India grounds profiled
13 Feb 06 |  Cricket
England in India 2006
08 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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