Ashes series will change lives

NO matter which team wins the Ashes series, lives will change.

Speaking ahead of the first day's play in the first Test at Trent Bridge overnight, English captain Alistair Cook, who confirmed his undoubted talent with 766 runs in the last series, said countless people had approached him in the street to wish him well, something he said did not happen with other series.

"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 against a very good side.

"I think it can change lives and careers - luckily I've managed to kick on from that moment and I see no reason why that can't continue."

For Australia to be competitive, its batsmen will have to stand up. The stark reality, however, is only captain Michael Clarke and vice-captain Brad Haddin have scored Test centuries against England.

On the flip side, England's top six batsmen have scored 81 Test hundreds between them, with five having scored at least one century in an Ashes Test.



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