Steady improvement pleases Cook

14 October 2013 22:25:07 GMTPlus10

Alastair Cook believes England remain on an upward curve as their preparations for the 2015 World Cup hit the home straight.

Cook's team came within a whisker of winning their maiden 50-over trophy in the summer only for a late collapse to hand Champions Trophy final victory to India.

Alastair Cook captained England to Ashes glory in the summer.

Nevertheless, Cook retains confidence that they are developing a side capable of going one better in Australasian conditions in early 2015.

They will get some first-hand experience of playing one-day cricket in Australia this winter, following the five-match Ashes series.

"We've been improving steadily as a one-day side in recent years and are very much looking forward to the challenge of the World Cup," said England captain Cook.

"We got close to winning our first 50-over ICC event finishing as runners-up in the Champions Trophy and will be working hard in the coming months to ensure we give ourselves the best possible opportunity to go one step further in 2015.

England will begin their 2015 World Cup campaign with a match against co-hosts Australia under the floodlights of the MCG.

They have struggled in recent ODI matches Down Under against the Australians, losing the 2010-11 series 6-1 immediately after crushing the same opponents 3-1 in The Ashes.

However, Cook, one of half-a-dozen players to rest during Australia's recent 2-1 one-day international series win against England, added: "Playing cricket in Australia and New Zealand is always a fantastic experience and I have no doubt it will be another great occasion both for the teams and their supporters."

England are 1212/1 to win the 2015 World Cup outright while Australia can be backed at 2/5, Sri Lanka at 1212/1 and West Indies at 1212/1.

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