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New Zealand cannot be taken lightly: Alastair Cook

Cook’s side were accused of complacency when they were forced to settle for three drawn Tests on their recent tour to New Zealand despite arriving as heavy favourites.

But Cook is adamant England gave their Kiwis their full respect and he believes they will have to be at their very best to beat Brendon McCullum’s men in the two-Test series. “I don’t think we were complacent at all,” Cook said at a pre-match press conference yesterday.

“I don’t think anyone who saw our build-up, or was involved in our build-up, would. I don’t think there was complacency around, but we didn’t play as well as we could have done: that’s the bottom line.

“We all know cricket is not played on paper or on rankings. It’s out there in the middle. It doesn’t matter what’s gone on before or after. It’s those five days,” he added. 

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