The Ashes has already changed Alastair Cook’s life once – and he is hoping it can start to do so again today.
Cook is leading his country in a Test match against Australia for the first time, having twice helped to beat England’s oldest enemy under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss.
It was in the historic success in Australia in 2010-11 – England’s first down under in almost a quarter-of-a-century – that Cook announced himself not merely as a dependable Test opener but a potential great.
Five Tests later, he has a near all-time Ashes series record of 766 runs at 127.66.
Today, he was embarking in the opening Investec Test at Trent Bridge in England’s bid for a first hat-trick of Ashes series victories in almost 60 years.
“I think you are remembered for your Ashes performances,” he said. “What happened in 2010-11 did change me as a cricketer, gave me a lot of confidence that I could perform at the highest level.”
He added: “In eight weeks’ time, I’d love to be sitting at The Oval having won the Ashes. That’s the ultimate aim as an English captain.”