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Ashes 2009

Ashes 2015: Four key Australia players for England to contend with

A maiden Test century at The Oval in 2013 proved the opening of the floodgates for Smith who, having once been the butt of English jokes for his initial selection in 2010-11 based on an ability to bring levity to a humourless Australian dressing room, has now arrived on these shores as the world’s No1-ranked batsman and the key wicket for Alastair Cook’s attack following 12 months in which he has averaged 102 in 16 innings.


Alistair Cook

Alastair Cook brings glad tidings with 126 against South Africa A

Alastair Cook is 31 on Christmas Day and, while his double dose of festivities will be tempered by the tedium of a training session and a press conference before the first Test with South Africa in Durban, the England captain will at least be free of any anxiety over his own form and that of his fellow batsmen.