Cook happy with favourites tag for Ashes

(Reuters) – England captain Alastair Cook says his side accepts their role as favourites as they chase a fourth consecutive Ashes series victory over Australia for the first time in over 100 years.

England departed  for Australia yesterday, two months after claiming a 3-0 win over their great rivals at home, and open the tour with warm-up match against a Western Australia XI in Perth beginning on Oct. 31.

They have not won four consecutive series since 1890, but Cook said expectations of doing so did not weigh heavily on the 17-man squad who will be mounting the defence.

“When you have won the last three series, and the last series was just two months ago, I think that is a fair description,” he told a news conference yesterday.

“I don’t think it makes that much difference who is favourite, that last summer it was the first time we’ve gone into an Ashes series as favourites, I thought we coped with that pretty well, and the outcome certainly suggested we did.

“Winning in Australia is no mean feat, that’s the challenge we’ve got ahead of ourselves.

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