• Australia in England 2012

Australia coach Arthur wary of Cook

ESPN staff
June 26, 2012
Alastair Cook has become a reliable performer for England in the one-day arena © PA Photos

Australia coach Mickey Arthur has earmarked Alastair Cook as England's dangerman ahead of the ODI series with England, pinpointing the skipper as the batsman they fear most.

England host Australia for five ODI's, starting with Friday's opener at Lord's, looking to build on their 2-0 series triumph over West Indies, and Cook is set to be a key man for the hosts.

Since his return to ODI cricket last year, Cook's 50-over form has been sensational: six fifties and four centuries in 21 innings. Taken as a whole, in 24 innings, including the tour to Bangladesh in 2010, he has averaged more than 54 at a strike rate of 91.47, a huge disparity from his stats in his previous 23 knocks.

With Cook, who has excelled ever since taking over the ODI captaincy on a full-time basis in 2011, at the top of his game, Arthur says the Australian bowlers need to be firing on all cylinders to stop him piling on the runs.

"We all know about Alastair in Test cricket and he looks to have gone really well in the one-day arena as well," he told the Daily Mirror.

"He has come on leaps and bounds as an international batter and seems to have taken the captaincy in his stride too. He is a world-class player now and we're going to have to have our plans in place to try to stop him."

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