Cook & Co turn to England's epic victory in 2005 at Birmingham for inspiration as hosts look to take 2-1 Ashes lead against Australia
Birmingham: Alastair Cook's England still have the chance to become the Ashes heroes of 2015 — and can start by turning on the style for the 10-year anniversary of Edgbaston's most famous Test.
England pacer James Anderson (right) and his teammates train on the eve of the third Ashes Test. Pic/Getty Images
Cook admits his team's embarrassing 405-run defeat last week, when Australia levelled the Investec series at 1-1, was "an absolute disaster in one sense". They must therefore restate their credentials in Birmingham, and the captain will not be complaining if inspiration is drawn from the thrilling two-run victory which began England's brilliant 2005 fightback to regain the urn for the first time in a generation.
Cook recalls 2005 Test
Cook recalls watching from afar on that August Sunday morning as a 20-year-old Essex batsman in Southend where the crowd for a limited-overs match against Middlesex were glued to television screens relaying the action as Steve Harmison finally took the last Australia wicket, Michael Kasprowicz caught behind down the leg-side.
This time Cook himself will be centre stage as England try to keep their bid to win back the Ashes on course.
"It would be a fantastic anniversary of those 10 years to win here after losing at Lord's," he said. "It would be brilliant to go 2-1 up, and it's certainly an inspiration in one way to know it's possible."
England could still lose this third Test and win the series, but the odds would be stacked against them from 2-1 down with two to play.
For Cook, any manner of series success will do. "Even for the stress levels, I would take 3-2," he said. "It's 1-1, a three-match series now, and we need to win two games to do something very special. That's what is keeping everyone going. Lord's was an absolute disaster in one sense," he said.