The Ashes: Alastair Cook backs England to retain the urn in Australia
Alastair Cook feels the England squad is good enough to go to Australia and win the Ashes for a fourth straight time.
Last Updated: 23/09/13 12:43pm
England secured a third successive Ashes series, 3-0 this summer, and now take on the old enemy in a much-anticipated rematch this winter.
After victories in 2009, 2010-11 and 2013, England will begin their quest to retain the urn on November 21 at The Gabba in Brisbane and Cook is confident of yet another victory.
"I think we have to be confident," Cook told Sky Sports. "We just won our third Ashes series in a row and I think that's a great achievement. We now have a chance to win another one very quickly.
"It's a very tough place to go and play is Australia. It's an unforgiving sporting environment and you have to be right at the top of your game if you want to compete and you want to win and we know that.
"As a side, we're ready for that challenge. We've got a break for about four weeks and it's important that we use that rest well because we know how long a tour it's going to be.
"A few of us have some fond memories of the last tour in Australia, but knowing we can play well and win, it's important we draw on those experiences. I do feel we have a squad good enough to win if we play well."
The squad will be announced on Monday and the likes of all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Boyd Rankin will be looking to force their way into the thinking after impressive performances in the recent ODI series.
And Cook admits the selectors will have their work cut out: "I think it's always tough, considering that you have to produce a squad of 17. There are a lot of very good players in the English game at the moment, so the selectors are going to have their work cut out.
"It's a great situation to be in, that there is so much competition for places. There are some tough calls and in the recent one day series against Australia, a few of the bigger names were rested which gave different people an opportunity in an England shirt.
"Stokes and Rankin did very well in that and it's great to see those kind of people taking their chance and putting their name in the hat for selection."