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England skipper Alastair Cook feels his side’s top-order batsmen must find form in Australia this winter if they are to come home with the Ashes urn.
Cook and his men head Down Under as favourites to retain the Ashes having beaten the Baggy Greens 3-0 in the series on UK soil over the summer.
However, it is clear that the England captain is taking nothing for granted, with Australia showing some resilience toward the end of the last series.
Cook know his side have been backed as the favourites to win but believes that recent results will count for nothing and the key will be to get some serious totals in the Test matches, with much depending on the top order.
The 28-year-old said: “I thought we coped with [being favourites] pretty well last summer. But if you look at Australia as a whole, not many sides win there so it is no mean feat.
“That is the challenge. We know what we have got to do. Score big first-innings runs and apply pressure with the ball.”
England get their Ashes campaign up and running with the first Test against Australia which takes place from November 21 in Brisbane.
Cook’s men would become the first English team since 1890 to win four consecutive Ashes series on the bounce if they can once again see off the Baggy Greens over the coming months.