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They don't have magic balls – Cook plays down Australia pace attack

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NEWS
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370   //    21 Nov 2017, 12:59 IST

MitchellStarc - Cropped
Australia paceman Mitchell Starc

England opener Alastair Cook played down the hype surrounding Australia's pace attack ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

The trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins shape as being key to the hosts' chances of reclaiming the urn.

But while former England captain Cook praised the pacemen, he said there was nothing his team could not deal with.

"There's nothing we haven't seen before in cricket," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"They're not suddenly bowling 150 miles an hour, [they have] not got magic balls which start way outside the stumps and swing miles and stuff.

"They're very good bowlers with good records. As batters, that is the challenge we've got in the next seven weeks."

Australia go into the series opener at the Gabba as favourites, particularly given their record at the ground.

They are unbeaten at the Gabba in a Test since 1988 and last lost an Ashes encounter there in 1986.

1988 - Australia have not lost a Test match at the Gabba since 1988; they are currently enjoying a 28-game unbeaten run there in Test cricket (W21 D7). Hospitable. #Ashes pic.twitter.com/77iyqzTapS
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) November 20, 2017

But Cook tried to put the pressure on the hosts, saying they would not want to be the team beaten to end the streak.

"Clearly, Australia's record here is very good, but records are there to be broken, they are to be changed," he said.

"One day, Australia will lose a game in Brisbane in the Ashes. Records don't go on forever. You only have to look at every sport, everything changes.

"You wouldn't want to be the Australian side who does lose at the Gabba."

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