New England star Harry Brook has told Australia not to bother sledging him during the upcoming Ashes series.
Barring injury, Brook will get his first taste of Ashes cricket this summer when England host Australia in a five-match Test series.
England, who have enjoyed a remarkable transformation under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, will attempt to win back the Ashes against an Australia side who thrashed them 4-0 in the last series.
Australia may smell blood when Brook, 24, walks to the crease to make his Ashes debut, but the Yorkshireman insists he will not be fazed by any sledging that comes his way.
‘To be honest I don’t care – I really don’t care,’ Brook told BBC Sport when asked about the possibility of verbals from the touring Australians.
‘The way I am going to play, the way we are playing, we will look to be positive and put pressure on them.
‘If they bowl a bad ball I will try and hit it for four or six. It doesn’t matter who you are – whether you are the best bowler in the world.’
While he is yet to play in an Ashes series, Brook gained some experience of Australian cricket culture after spending a winter in Sydney playing grade cricket.
‘No matter what level, they are very competitive people,’ said Brook, who has scored four centuries in six Tests at a strike-rate of 98.77.
‘Some of them probably think they are a little bit better than they are. There was a lot were saying they could have played first-class cricket in England when they were just playing grade cricket in Australia.
‘There were little bits [of sledging] out there, one or two games, where there were fairly big sledges. I don’t sledge but I have copped a bit in my time.
‘I scored quite a few runs. People don’t tend to give you much when you are scoring runs.’
This time last year Brook was preparing for the County Championship season with Yorkshire, but 12 months on he is England’s most exciting batting prospect and a World Cup winner.
‘It’s been a good year,’ he admitted to Sky Sports. ‘I never thought I’d be saying I’m a World Cup winner, or having four Test hundreds.
‘I think I’m very lucky to have come into this Test side especially and the way we’re trying to play and the positive brand of cricket that we’re trying to play and entertain the crowd, it suits my game more than any, really.’
After playing a limited role in England’s T20 World Cup win, Brook scored three consecutive centuries in the Test series whitewash in Pakistan, before passing 50 in three of his four innings against New Zealand.
Brook is currently preparing to make his Indian Premier League debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad, having been signed for £1.35m in December’s auction.
On his sensational rise, Brook said: ‘Personally I’ve obviously done well in the last few months but I feel like I can still improve a lot of my game, so I’m sure everyone in the team can as well.
‘The World Cup win was the highlight of my England career so far, definitely. I’ve got no words. It was so good, I cannot describe that feeling.
‘Obviously, we’ve got the Ashes coming up this summer. If we get a win there, that could be a close contender.’
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