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Alastair Cook’s milestone Test doubles up as the ‘biggest game of our lives’

England opener, who will play his 150th Test, has never seen an England team work as hard and they will need to turn toil into triumph against a rampant Australia in Perth to stay in the Ashes

Alastair Cook is hoping his 150th Test goes rather better than his 100th, which took place at the Waca four years ago. England were defeated by 150 runs, which meant they lost the Ashes at the earliest opportunity and Cook was out first ball in the second innings to a devastating delivery from Ryan Harris, which just clipped his off bail. It was not the perfect anniversary.

Once Cook steps on to the field at the Waca on Thursday morning there will be only seven cricketers in the world who have played more Tests. It is a long time since he made his debut, as an emergency replacement, against India in Nagpur along with Monty Panesar and Ian Blackwell in 2006. Since then he has missed one Test for England – the Mumbai match in 2006 – because of ill health. He has never been dropped.

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