Cricket: Cook urges England to pile on the misery for Australia

England's Alastair Cook after the fourth Ashes Test match.
England's Alastair Cook after the fourth Ashes Test match. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Stuart Broad on Monday revealed that England captain Alastair Cook has urged his side to pile on the misery for beleaguered Australia in the final Ashes Test this week.

Cook's men wrapped up the Ashes with a victory in the fourth Test that put them 3-1 up in the five-match series.

But, ahead of the start of the finale at The Oval on Thursday, England pace bowler Broad said Cook called every England player last Tuesday in a bid to cement the "burning desire" to complete a 4-1 rout of Australia.

Securing England's biggest Ashes series margin of victory since Mike Brearley led them to a 5-1 success in 1978-79 would be the perfect way to avenge their 5-0 loss down under in 2013-14.

"Cooky called us all on Tuesday, to say: 'Let's make sure we turn up knowing that we're in a battle and that we want to start again, Because I've got a burning desire for this to be 4-1'," Broad said. "Certainly those of us involved in that 5-0 loss (in 2013-14) feel that determination to make this a good week.

"Australia are ruthless when they get on top. We want that same tag. No one wants us to be an enjoyable team to play against, and we want to hammer that home.

"I was not surprised that he called because he has been so switched on for the past eight months.

"We were in the middle of our little week off and he was sat on his farm thinking about it, wanting to make sure everyone was on the money."

Cook this week said he considered quitting as skipper during the first Test against the West Indies in April, shortly after being replaced as captain of the one-day side. But he was persuaded to stay and has reaped the rewards during a memorable Ashes series.

Broad was quick to salute Cook's influence and especially his ability to end the divide between past and present England players. He believes Cook has bridged the gap that had prohibited ex-England stars handing out hints and tips to the current generation.

Broad, whose eight for 15 was the stand-out performance of the Ashes-clinching Nottingham Test, says he had rarely spoken to the likes of Ian Botham during his England career until Cook found a way to get the old guard involved.

"He (Cook) admitted after Trent Bridge that his stubbornness sometimes got the better of him," Broad said. "He has been talking a lot more to ex-players about captaincy and learning from people.

"I think we went through a period as a team when we wouldn't speak to any of our ex-players and it was like us versus them.

"This new open theory, started by (former coach Peter) 'Moores' and with (director Andrew) Strauss carrying it on, has helped.

"Go to (Michael) Vaughan in the morning and say 'What do you reckon here?' He tells you - and that can set your mind at rest.

"And the way Beefy has been coming over and encouraging people - I'd played for six or seven years and never really spoken to Beefy.

"Now he is coming over to the team and going, 'Come on, boys, let's get this done today.' That gives you a huge lift."