MX23RW : Tuesday, March 2 14:52:05| >> :120:72693:72693:

Alastair Cook: 'Australia are still favourites'

England captain Alastair Cook believes that Australia are "still probably favourites" to retain The Ashes.

Alastair Cook has admitted that Australia are "still probably favourites" to retain The Ashes, despite England comfortably winning the first Test in Cardiff.

The home side claimed a 169-run victory at the SWALEC Stadium last week, and the tourists will be missing first-choice wicket-keeper Brad Haddin for the second Test at Lord's after he flew home because of a family matter, while all-rounder Shane Watson is expected to be dropped.

However, the captain said at a press conference: "Australia are still probably favourites, they've only got to retain, I suppose. But series are not played on paper, it's what people deliver. And it's always nice to be underdogs isn't it?"

Australia regained the urn with a 5-0 whitewash last winter, but have not won a series in England since 2001.


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