Cook - KP will come good
Alastair Cook, who feared for his own place during the summer, insists England's squad are "fully behind" Kevin Pietersen.
Last Updated: 27/10/10 8:28am
Alastair Cook feared he could miss out on a place in England's Ashes squad when he suffered a dip in form during the summer.
The left-handed opener struggled against Bangladesh and then at the start of the series against Pakistan, managing just 106 runs in eight innings.
However, with his place under threat following a string of low scores, he hit an excellent century in a losing cause at the Oval to silence the doubters.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Cook explained how that knock of 110 against Pakistan proved to himself that he could perform under pressure.
"Yeah, of course," he replied when asked if he was concerned during the summer about losing his place. "As a batter your job is to score runs and when you're not doing that it obviously puts pressure on you.
"But when everyone was calling for me not be in the side, and everyone doing that in the media, for me under that pressure to score those runs has given me a lot of confidence.
"When I needed it the most I delivered. I think all 15 of us in the squad are going to have to do that at some stage again in Australia (this winter)."
Despite managing 13 centuries in 60 Tests, Cook was still singled out by Ricky Ponting ahead of the series Down Under, the Australia skipper claiming that the Essex batsman was holding on to his spot by "the skin of his teeth".
"Everyone can have their say," Cook said in response. "We're focused on what we've got to do.
"Over the last 12 months I've scored four Test hundreds, three in the last eight games. Hopefully I can take some of that form down to Australia and prove a few of them wrong."
Ponting also questioned the form of Kevin Pietersen, who has not reached three figures in Test cricket since making 109 in the Caribbean last March.
However Cook is confident that the South African-born batsman will come good in the heat of an Ashes battle.
"Kev has had a tough 12 months but he's a great player," the Gloucester-born batsman added. "The stats show that and I wouldn't imagine that any Australian would be talking up his lack of runs because of how good he is.
"He loves the big series and we're fully behind him as a side. I'm very glad he's pulling on an England shirt with us."
When pushed to give a score prediction, Cook responded with a straight bat: "As a side we're very confident. If we can play some good cricket like we have been doing, I'm confident we can bring that urn back with us."