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Alastair Cook ready for sub-continent challenge

Alastair Cook has joined the England squad in Bangladesh
Alastair Cook has joined the England squad in Bangladesh
©REUTERS / Action Images

England Test captain Alastair Cook has stated that he is ready for the gruelling schedule in the sub-continent conditions where his team will play seven matches in the longer format.

First up is the series against Bangladesh which consists of two Test matches, following which is the five-match series against India.

Stating that he never played seven Tests in a row in the sub-continent conditions, Cook said that it is important for the team to get off the good start in the series.

“We have got seven games in these conditions and it’s going to be a challenge,” Cook told Sky Sports News HQ.

“For however long I’ve played for England, I’ve never experienced seven Test matches in eight weeks in the sub-continent.

“But these challenges can really unite a side and we have to get off to a good start.”

Cook, who has currently played 133 Test matches for England, will become the country’s highest capped player when he takes the field in the first Test against Bangladesh.

With the first game, Cook will overtake the record of Alec Stewart and the 31-year-old admitted that it was quite a special feeling.

“I started however many years ago and you never thought you’d get anywhere near so to break a record like that is very special,” he added.

“A lot of luck, I suppose, is needed with injuries and all that stuff and to score just enough runs at the right time to keep yourself in the team.”

Earlier, Cook missed England’s practice matches in Bangladesh due to the birth of his second child and he has re-joined the team on Monday.

Acknowledging that it was an emotional period in the recent days with the birth of his second daughter, Cook is now focussed on the cricket ahead of the England team.

“If you’re being brutally honest, over the last two or three weeks it hasn’t been that close to my mind with other things.

“The family stuff has taken that away so I haven’t really thought about it.

“It was a proud day, quite an emotional 48 hours.

“As you can imagine, having another daughter and then leaving so soon afterwards doesn’t make you feel like the best husband or father in the world.

“It’s great that mum and baby are doing very well.

“(They are) very special moments but I’m out here now so I’ve got to go and play some cricket.”

In Asia, Cook averages 60.86 from 21 matches and has 2252 runs, including eight hundreds and nine fifties with a high score of 263.

© Cricket World 2016