They don't have magic balls – Cook plays down Australia pace attack

Australia's pacemen are set to test England in the Ashes, but Alastair Cook believes his team can respond.

Former England captain Alastair Cook praised Australia's pace battery, but said there was nothing his team could not deal with.   -  Getty Images

England opener Alastair Cook played down the hype surrounding Australia's pace attack ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

The trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins shape as being key to the host's chances of reclaiming the urn.

But while former England captain Alastair Cook praised the pacemen, he said there was nothing his team could not deal with.

Read: Key contests in battle for the urn

"There's nothing we haven't seen before in cricket," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"They're not suddenly bowling 150 miles an hour, [they have] not got magic balls which start way outside the stumps and swing miles and stuff.

Read: England ready for sledging war, says Root

"They're very good bowlers with good records. As batters, that is the challenge we've got in the next seven weeks."

'Records are there to be broken'

Australia goes into the series opener at the Gabba as favourite, particularly given its record at the ground.

It is unbeaten at the Gabba in a Test since 1988 and last lost an Ashes encounter there in 1986.

Read: England won't suffer Gabba ambush, Malan claims

But Cook tried to put the pressure on the host, saying it would not want to be the team beaten to end the streak.

"Clearly, Australia's record here is very good, but records are there to be broken, they are to be changed," he said.

"One day, Australia will lose a game in Brisbane in the Ashes. Records don't go on forever. You only have to look at every sport, everything changes.

"You wouldn't want to be the Australian side who does lose at the Gabba."