- The Ashes
Cook: Swann and KP can hand England an Ashes boost
Alastair Cook was welcomed back to England by freezing temperatures but is already looking ahead to a fierce summer Ashes battle with Australia.
Cook was wrapped up warm at a media day with his county Essex, with the temperatures a long way removed from what he had been faced with on the recent tour of New Zealand.
While the weather may not be to Cook's taste, being on home shores brings thoughts of the summer battle ahead with Australia. It is hoped that the weather will warm up by the time the two sides face off for the first time at Trent Bridge on July 10 and the England captain is ready for a tight battle.
"Obviously the Ashes is going to be a huge part of the summer," Cook told Sky Sports News. "Along with the Champions Trophy and New Zealand it's a massive summer for us, and as a captain and player it's a great opportunity for us to do something special.
"Australia are going to be a tough side, they always are, the Ashes brings out the best in them make no mistake about that, so it's going to be a great battle between two very good sides."
England had a topsy-turvy winter as they claimed a brilliant series win in India before limping to a series draw in New Zealand. Cook feels the team did not perform to their best in New Zealand, but will look to welcome back senior figures Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen who are expected to shake off injuries.
Cook said: "The experience of 90 Tests of KP and 7000 runs, and Swanny's 200 wickets, and the knowledge and the knowhow to win games and the nous to help us out of tricky situations. When they are not in the side you certainly notice it."