Captain Alastair Cook on Wednesday urged both sides to avoid a repeat of the ugly clashes that marred Australia’s first-Test victory over England ahead of the second match of the series.

Australia skipper Michael Clarke was fined by the International Cricket Council for telling England’s Jimmy Anderson to expect a broken arm as tensions between the teams boiled over during the Brisbane game.

Clarke has vowed to maintain the same hard-nosed approach in Adelaide this week that the home side used to damaging effect at the Gabba, but within the boundaries of reasonable behaviour.

Australian opening batsman David Warner also attracted criticism for comments he made in Brisbane in which he described England batsman Jonathan Trott as “poor and weak”.

The subsequent shock departure from the series of Trott with a stress-related illness only added to the fall-out over the sledging.

“I think it’s important that both sides recognise that a couple of scenes in that last Test weren’t great for the game of cricket,” Cook said.

“It’s important that we play in the right way. I think people want to see real tough cricket, that’s what they enjoy, especially between England and Australia, but there’s got to be a boundary that we don’t cross.

“Maybe last week we let emotion get ahead of ourselves a little bit on some occasions and it got a little bit ugly.

“Obviously, Michael (Clarke) and I have a responsibility as captains of both sides to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Cook said England — yet to announce its team for the match — was “desperately keen to play well” after the 381-run defeat in Brisbane, the team’s first defeat in 14 Tests.

“I know that the lads were fighting as hard as they could, but the skills weren’t up to it,” he said. “You can look at a total number of different reasons but we got totally outplayed in that game, pretty much after the first day.

“With these 10 days we’ve had off, we’ve been making sure that we have been putting things in place, had some good meetings, but there’s no point talking about a good game, you have to make sure we deliver it.”

Cook said there had been some home truths firmly spelt out in team meetings as the tourists look to level the series.

“You have to be honest at certain times. I’ve played a lot of cricket with a lot of these guys,” he said.

“They respect the way I go about it and there are certain times when you do have to have harsh conversations, but I think the friendship we’ve got makes it easy.”

Cook expects the Adelaide Test to be another tough battle, saying England — which beat Australia 3-0 at home earlier this year — was desperate to prove itself.

Cook added the tourists were “clear in our own mind” about who would replace Trott at No. 3, with indications it will be either Ian Bell or Joe Root. He said seamer Tim Bresnan was available to play following injury. — AFP


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