Cook silences doubters with century against South Australia

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Once again Alistair Cook has silenced the doubters with a century innings.

As England struggled to find any sort of nick in the summer series with Pakistan, Alistair Cook was on the receiving end of most of the criticism surrounding his Test place before a century in the second innings of the third Test quietened the critics.

However since that occasion the calls for Alistair Cook to be replaced in the Test team have been getting louder with every minute the England squad spend in Australia – at least that was the case until last Saturday.

Having bowled out the South Australian side for 221, 67 runs behind England’s first innings total of 288, Cook and Andrew Strauss took to the wicket looking to put the game to bed.

And had it not been for the rain on the third and final day of the second warm-up, Cook’s innings of 111 plus Strauss’ innings of 102 would have done just that.

Even so, England left Adelaide knowing their opening batsman are in fine nick.

With just one warm-up game against Australia A in Hobart to go, Strauss currently demands favouritism in the top England Ashes series runscorer market at 7/2.

But Cook, who can expect to be targeted by the Australians, is as big as 6/1 to be England’s top series runscorer, although the Gloucester born batsman will need to improve on his current average against Australia which is 26.21.

The final warm-up game against Australia A allows the batsman one final chance to experience an Australian wicket without the pressure of the Ashes hanging over them.

But after strong batting performances from Cook, Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell thus far, England can enter the series with plenty of confidence.

England are 2/1 to win the four day Test against Australia A. See the full Ashes betting odds here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.