But Cook said the only consideration for England in selection was picking a side to win the series 4-1, with no England team ever having won four Tests in a home Ashes series.
Throw in the controversy which raged over the sacking of Kevin Pietersen and England’s refusal to go back on that decision, and it is easy to see why Cook might have entertained occasional doubts. But he was persuaded to stay and has reaped the rewards during a memorable Ashes series.
However, he may not be in the eleven at The Oval if England spearhead James Anderson returns to the team. Wood could be the paceman to make way should England’s leading all-time wicket-taker be recalled.
Clarke still has a chance to become the ninth Australian to finish his career with a batting average above 50, though he needs 122 runs in the Test without being dismissed in either innings – that rises to 172 if dismissed once, 222 if twice. “Every time I’ve walked on the field I’ve done whatever it’s taken to help the team have success, whether as captain or just as a player”, he added.
“There can be a lot of hype around, and I think that is something I’ve dealt with better than when I was a young lad”.
“I didn’t even play a part in the series but I was there watching every day and it hurt to be beaten like that”.
“They were good”, said Hodgson. I believe this side has more to give. We’ve got to keep trying to improve and the guys are right behind that’.
Unfortunately he’s not going to make it.
“It doesn’t hurt as much when I take the pills the doctor gives us… but as a fast bowler you are never 100%”, he said.
There will, however, be a chance at The Oval for Cook’s opening partner Adam Lyth to put his run of mediocre form behind him.
Gary Ballance, who was recently left out of the England’s Test squad after the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, is hopeful of making a comeback in the longer format of the game.
“It’s tough when your first seven games are against the bowlers he has faced, but he has to clear that out of his mind”.
“Speaking ahead of the final Test, Cook has highlighted the determination that remains in the England camp”.
Winning is a great habit to have and it sets down a marker for the players when the limited overs series gets underway.
“He’s a very good player who can succeed at global level”.
“It’s been nice to get away for a couple of weeks, reflect on it, learn from it and move on”, she said.
“He is gutted, he has worked really hard with the fitness guys”.
He might be an important weapon in England’s subsequent collection towards Pakistan within the United Arab Emirates however Cook stated the precedence was to win the Ashes 4-1.
“But we can’t worry about that record”.
Both the Edgbaston and Trent Bridge Tests were in danger of finishing inside two days after Australia were bundled out on day one in each match on a lively surfaces in overcast conditions.