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A friendly note to Alastair Cook ahead of the first ball of the fourth Test today in Durham - pull your head in.

The England captain was indignant after Aussie TV network dared run a story about batsmen using silicone tape to trick the HotSpot cameras when it comes to faint edges. 

He demanded an apology for a "blatant fabrication", even though it's been found that such efforts could work, even if batsmen weren't doing it. 

Cook and the England team's reaction has been as though they were under siege. 

Pietersen was singled out a bit because of his dismissal in the third Test, but took it personally. 

"I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk .... to suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon(e) infuriates me."

Fair call. So KP's a walker - he said it on Twitter so it must be true. A matter of time before this is proven to be rubbish. 

He made a good point about the accusations though: 

"How stupid would I be to try & hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal, like in 1st innings where hotspot showed I nicked it."

It should have ended there.

Cooky and KP, and most of the outraged Brit media, neglected to acknowledge in any major way that the Australian report in fact accused both teams of tape trickery. 

Clarke denied his side was doing anything of the sort and laughed it off immediately, Cook whinged to mummy basically.

"There has been a bit of a media storm behind it and we knew it would happen at some stage of the Ashes," he said. 

"It's kind of taken a little bit of the gloss off winning the Ashes ... but as players all that stuff is out of our control."

Let's pull him up there. So that story which came out after England were having their pants pulled down and being spanked in the third Test, only for rain to save them, he wanted there to be a gloss over his side winning the Ashes? 

Yes, they retained the Ashes - it's a ridiculous term for when a team gets a draw but won them last time, but it's the truth.

Retained, not won them. 

And a bit of credit where it's due. 

If Old Trafford was a boxing match, Australia would have won unanimously on points. 

Unfortunately, they were TKO'd in the first one at Trent Bridge and knocked out in the first at Lord's. 

It's game on in Durham, and even if Australia can't win the series, they can take momentum from Manchester into this match and the fifth one at the Oval, knowing any quality performances there will put a dent in English confidence ahead of the return series in Australia. 

First things first, they must get a win on the board, and England are more vulnerable than they're cocky carry-on suggests. 

Image via Getty


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Ashes 2013: OFF STUMPED - Aussies must take advantage in Durham as Cook rails against tale of the tape
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