Adelaide: The atmosphere at the Adelaide Oval will lack a little of the gladiatorial intensity of the Gabba, not least because the stadium is only half finished, but that has not stopped Jeff Crowe, the Match Referee, from warning both captains about the behaviour of their players ahead of the second Ashes Test.
England admit to sledging opponents but there was an intensity about the Brisbane Test, possibly whipped up by the boorish crowd, that caused even old hands such as Ian Chappell to feel it was unacceptable.
“Some of those scenes were ugly at the end of the game,” Cook agreed. “We do have a duty to play the game in the right way.
“We do want to play tough cricket, just like Australia do, but we have to make sure we stick to those boundaries and as captain I bear responsibility for that.
“Jeff has had a chat with me, but we all know the responsibilities we have when we pull on the shirt.
“No matter how much emotion there is in the game, we know how many people are watching us and we have got to behave appropriately.
“It shouldn’t be a tea party, though. People pay good money to see tough, competitive cricket.
“That is what people love about the Ashes or any competitive cricket.”
Cook himself appears impervious to verbal barbs, but that may not be the case for the new faces whom England may decide to blood here.
Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes are both possibilities for a place in the side, depending on the composition of the bowling attack.