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Abbott least popular PM in 25 years: poll

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Tony Abbott was one of the most unpopular political leaders ever to win an election, a new study shows.


The Australian National University has taken the pulse of voters on a range of issues including leadership in its latest Australian Election Study.

For the first time since the study began in 1987, none of the nation’s political leaders scored above an average of five on a scale of 0-10, with 0 for strongly dislike and 10 for strongly like.

Nationals leader Warren Truss was the most popular leader following the 2013 election with a score of 4.34, followed by Mr Abbott (4.29).

Labor leaders Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd scored 4.04 and 4.07 respectively, while Greens leader Christine Milne was the least popular on 3.81.

“Tony Abbott, on average, is less popular than any prime minister in the history of the study, which began in 1987,” report co-author Sarah Cameron said.

“However, Abbott compared favourably to former Labor leaders Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.”

The report also found Mr Abbott’s popularity did not change significantly from 2010 to 2013, although he became relatively more popular than Ms Gillard or Mr Rudd.

The top issue for voters in 2013 was the economy (28 per cent), followed by health (19 per cent), education (15 per cent), tax (11 per cent) and refugees and asylum seekers (10 per cent).

The coalition was rated higher than Labor for its policies on tax and immigration.

But more people preferred Labor’s policies on education, health, the environment, and global warming.

The survey of 3955 people was conducted over eight weeks following the September election.

Carnage in Kiev: Eyewitness account

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

I heard a strange clanking sound this morning in my hotel room overlooking the Ukrainian capital’s main square.


I carefully opened the balcony door and looked down. A bullet from a sniper rifle was on the floor of the balcony.

Apparently it had ricocheted off the rail.

Soon after, several protesters from Independence Square, known as the Maidan, knocked on my door. They wanted to check to see if any snipers were hiding in my room. The hotel director accompanied them, eager to prove that such things were impossible in his establishment.

Thursday was the bloodiest day in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history. At least 70 protesters were killed and hundreds were wounded by snipers on Kiev’s Independence Square and its nearby streets, according to medical workers treating the victims.

Three police were also killed on Thursday and 28 suffered wounds, according to the Interior Ministry.

Three months of protests against President Viktor Yanukovych had turned into a bloody carnage on the Maidan.

When I walked out into the Maidan, clad in a helmet and a flak jacket, I saw bodies lying on the pavement. Ten in one place, another six a short walk away, five more farther away. The demonstrators were killed with precise shots to their heads or necks, the hallmarks of snipers.

People were gathering around the dead, many of them weeping. Some covered the bodies with Ukrainian flags, others brought Orthodox icons. A priest conducted a remembrance service.

I felt a bit sick. Many of the victims were only in their 30s and 40s, full of energy just a few hours ago.

I kept asking myself: Why are they killing them? The protesters had no firearms that I could see and snipers could have instead incapacitated them by shooting their feet or arms.

If the government had hoped that the killings would intimidate protesters and force them to leave the Maidan, it was clearly a miscalculation. The carnage only fuelled anger and strengthened the demonstrators’ determination.

“The price of freedom is too high but Ukrainians are paying it. We have no choice, the government isn’t hearing us, “said Viktor Danilyuk, a 30-year-old protester.

The Mikhailovsky Cathedral, a short walk up the hill from the Maidan, was turned into an improvised hospital complete with a surgery room to treat the victims.

“People who wanted to live in a free Ukraine in Europe got bullets instead,” said Petro Shumilin, a 33-year-old demonstrator who was wounded in the arm while carrying away a friend’s body.

His eyes were full of tears, both from the loss of his friend and from the pain of surgery for his wound.

“This is the result of Yanukovych’s rule. He’s guilty of starting a civil war,” Shumilin said.

The sniper fire that rang out on the streets of this city of nearly 3 million was something Kiev hasn’t heard since the World War II battles between the Soviet Red Army and Nazi forces.

Most of the wounded stayed away from Kiev’s hospitals, fearing they would be quickly taken into police custody from there – something that has happened to many others wounded in the clashes.

The daily demonstrations, which were sparked by anger over Yanukovych’s abrupt refusal in November to sign a pact with the European Union in favour of choosing closer ties with Russia, were peaceful at first. Violent clashes with police erupted in January, when at least four people died and hundreds were wounded in street battles that raged for days.

Yanukovych made some concessions and tensions abated for a few weeks but they flared up again this week after Yanukovych loyalists in parliament refused to trim powers of the presidency as protesters had demanded. As they had in January, protesters assaulted police lines with stones and firebombs.

But this time the police response was ferocious.

Earlier during the protests, life in Kiev went on as usual. Streets were full of people doing their daily errands. Stores, restaurants and cafes along the downtown avenue near the Maidan stayed open. The protest camp even became a daily attraction for many residents.

That all changed sharply this week, as clashes between protesters and police turned into urban warfare. The sound of police stun grenades echoed across the Maidan and heavy black smoke from burning tyres, which protesters positioned to block the way to police, filled Kiev’s skies.

The subway shut down, schools and most offices in central Kiev were closed and streets became empty. People across the city rushed to get cash and buy staples. Most downtown restaurants and cafes were closed, so finding a place to eat became a real challenge.

But many ordinary people still came to the Maidan.

“Ukraine’s fate is being decided here – whether we will become part of Europe or slide back,” said Inga Leshchenko, a 67-year-old school teacher who brought homemade food to the protesters.

“Every Ukrainian should help the Maidan. I can help by making sandwiches and homemade pies,” she said.

Cuts, boats and scandals on parly agenda

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Labor and the Greens will seek details on health and education cuts, privatisation and the government’s handling of asylum seekers when Senate estimates hearings are held next week.


Parliament resumes after a week’s break on Monday, with estimates hearings running alongside a sitting of the House of Representatives.

The government’s agenda will include changes to the Fair Work Act to be introduced in the lower house and the release of a drought aid package.

Liberal party strategists will also be assessing options for date of the West Australian Senate poll re-run, ordered by the High Court this week.

On Monday, the Senate’s finance and public administration will probe the public service commission on job cuts and is likely to seek some insight from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet into its role in a scandal engulfing Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash.

Senator Nash’s chief of staff Alastair Furnival resigned over his involvement in the removal of a food-rating website.

Mr Furnival’s lobbying firm represented junk food industry clients opposed to the site.

Labor and the Greens want to know how Mr Furnival came to be hired and who was responsible.

The community affairs committee will follow up on this on Wednesday when it asks questions of health department officials.

Immigration department and Operation Sovereign Borders officials will be quizzed on Tuesday over the management of offshore detention centres and breaches of Indonesian waters by border protection vessels.

Medibank Private officials will face questioning on Tuesday as the government prepares to privatise the health insurer.

Department of Finance officials will be asked to give details on budget planning and the national disability insurance scheme, as well as the Future Fund.

The Australian Electoral Commission will face questions over the mishandling of the WA Senate poll and how it plans to avoid mistakes in the future.

The coalition is expected to secure Labor support for a bill to end $900 cheques which the previous government put in place as a GFC stimulus.

Also on the government’s legislative agenda will be Fair Work Act amendments, promised at the 2013 election, to speed up greenfield workplace agreements, limit union officials’ access to work sites and broaden the use of individual flexibility arrangements.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie will use private members’ business on Monday to introduce a bill to ban live animal exports following reports of Australian livestock being mistreated overseas.

Sangakkara’s ton seals one-day series

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Kumar Sangakkara continued his awesome batting form in Bangladesh as Sri Lanka won the second one-dayer by 61 runs in Dhaka on Thursday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.


The left-hander, who scored 319 and 105 in the second Test earlier this month after making 75 in the first Test, hit a fluent 128 off 115 balls to lift Sri Lanka to 6-289.

Bangladesh caved under pressure, dismissed for 228 with seven overs to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with 79 off 83 balls and opener Anamul Haque made 42, but none of the other batsmen settled in as Sri Lanka grabbed wickets at regular intervals.

Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis picked up two wickets each, while part-timer Ashan Priyanjan took one.

The series win sealed Sri Lanka’s domination during the month-long tour where they won the two-Test series 1-0 and secured both the Twenty20 matches. The final one-dayer will be played on Saturday.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews said the win was just the boost his team needed ahead of the five-nation Asia Cup one-day tournament which opens in Bangladesh on Tuesday.

“The boys played brilliantly,” he said. “We were in a spot of bother when Sangakkara came in to bat and he guided the innings wonderfully.

“This series helped us prepare for the Asia Cup. Hopefully we will do well there too.”

Bangladesh’s Rahim rued the lack of partnerships during his team’s innings.

“The way the boys are getting out is really disappointing,” he said. “When you get settled, especially while chasing 290, you should stay on and play a big innings.

“I hope we win the last match. We are playing for our country so the last match is still important for us even though we may have lost the series.”

Priyanjan (60) helped Sangakkara put on 114 for the fourth wicket after the tourists, who won the toss, were reduced to 3-63 by the 13th over.

Mathews lifted the total with an unbeaten 56 off 39 balls, having added 83 for the fifth wicket with Sangakkara.

Bangladesh seamer Rubel Hossain removed openers Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan by the eighth over, before Sohag Gazi dismissed Dinesh Chandimal to open up the middle order.

Priyanjan, a 24-year-old right-hander playing his fourth one-dayer, hit seven boundaries before he was trapped leg-before by left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan.

Sangakkara reached his 17th one-day century with a four through the covers off Rubel and celebrated the landmark by dabbing the next ball to third man for another boundary.

Sangakkara slammed 14 boundaries before he was caught in the deep in the 47th over attempting another big shot off Arafat Sunny.

The tourists brought in spinner Mendis in place of the injured Nuwan Kulasekara, while Bangladesh dropped Al-Amin Hossain to play experienced seamer Mashrafe Mortaza.

Amazon extends on-demand service

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Internet retail giant Amazon is moving further into the on-demand business by extending its service offering thousands of films and TV shows online to the UK.


More than 15,000 films and TV episodes will be made available to customers who sign up for its Prime Instant Video service.

The move will be seen as a direct rival to streaming service Netflix which has been a critical and commercial success – notably with its Kevin Spacey remake of UK political drama House of Cards.

The new creation is a combination of the current Prime service, which offers next-day delivery and a Kindle library, with streaming service LoveFilm, which Amazon owns.

Viewers will be able to rent or buy films and TV shows, including The Walking Dead and Vikings, on devices including iPads, Kindle Fire, Xbox and smart TVs.

The service, which also allows viewers to watch original Amazon shows including political comedy drama Alpha House, launches next Wednesday with the offer of a 30-day free trial.

Greg Greeley, vice-president of Amazon Prime, said: “Millions of customers in the US have streaming video included as part of their Prime membership and they tell us they love the combination of unlimited delivery, the ability to borrow Kindle books, and convenient access to thousands of the most popular movies, TV shows and exclusive videos.

“We are delighted to be bringing that same combination of services to the UK, providing members truly unique benefits they can enjoy every day of the year.”

An Australian spokesman for Amazon told AAP he was not aware of any plans to extend the service to Australia.

Coalition’s NBN plan changes

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

A Strategic Review of the National Broadband Network shows that the Coalition’s plan for its own national broadband network will cost more than was estimated when the policy was released in April.



(Transcript from World News Australia Radio)


The Coalition’s policy promised to give most Australians the option to connect to a 25 megabit per second network by 2016, but the review has found that is extremely unrealistic.


It has also found less than half of the country would have access to those speeds by 2016.


(Click on audio tab above to hear full item)


The Strategic Review has recommended rolling out a mix of technologies, including fibre-to-the-premises, costing $11.5 billion more than the Coalition’s original forecast.


It estimates a total cost of $41 billion rather than the $29.5 billion estimated by the coalition in April.


It forecasts that by 2019, speeds of up to 100 megabits per second will be available to more than two-thirds of Australian residents, and nine out of 10 Australians will have speeds exceeding 50 megabits per second.


It also says the current plan set up under Labor will miss its 2021 target by three years, and cost $73 billion – up from $43 billion – to complete.


Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says unit costs for the NBN are twice as much as forecast by Labor and burdened by inflated corporate costs based on unrealistic long term profit forecasts.


“Turning this project around is a formidable challenge but we are determined to complete the project as quickly as we can at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers and affordably for consumers. We are equally determined that in the roll-out of the NBN, the many Australians without adequate fixed-line broadband today, particularly in regional areas, receive top priority.”


The review has recommended implementing a multi-technology approach which would save $32 billion.


These include fibre-to-the-premises technology recommended for up to 26 per cent of premises, fibre-to-the-node technology recommended for around 50 per cent of premises.


It also recommends hybrid fibre-coaxial technology recommended for up to 30 per cent of premises and satellite and wireless technology is recommended for around six per cent of premises.


Malcolm Turnbull says the monthly retail price to access the NBN will be cheaper if the recommendations are adopted as the project will cost less than Labor’s plan.


“Despite the delays and disappointments, the concept of a National Broadband Network remains popular. Australians want universal access to high-quality broadband and so does the Government. But because of the misguided way the previous Government embarked on this project, as much as $15 billion has been unnecessarily spent to achieve this goal and those dollars cannot be recovered.”


He says the Government would not pay any extra to NBN Co and that the extra funding will be borrowed.


The federal opposition’s communications spokesman, Jason Clare, says the government’s decision to not deliver on it promised broadband speeds is just another broken promise.


“We say welcome to the world of broken promises. Today is a day that this Government will rue for a very long time. The Abbott Government is breaking one of the most important and biggest promises that they made in the last election campaign. Now today we get a tawdry list of excuses from this Minister. Before the election they said, ‘No surprises’. Well, today we get the worst of all surprises from this Government. Remember the words of this Prime Minister when he said, ‘I don’t intend on making promises I won’t keep.’ Well, he’s just broken a whopper today.”


Malcolm Turnbull says his original policy assumed NBN Co was doing better than it actually is.


Mr Turnbull says a cost benefit analysis of the economic and social returns from broadband and a review of the long-term regulation of the NBN Co will be delivered to the government by June next year.


He says after that a new corporate plan will be drawn up.



White House: Mandela interpreter claims ‘regrettable’

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

The White House has stated that it’s a “shame” that the buzz over the interpreter on stage with Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service may overwhelm the occasion.


“It would be a shame if a distraction about an individual who was on stage in any way detracted from the importance of that event and the importance of President Mandela’s legacy,” deputy spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington.

Watch: The sign interpreter signing at the Mandela memorial service

The White House meanwhile referred all questions on the matter to the South African government, but said it would be regrettable if the incident overshadowed Obama’s “very powerful remarks” at the memorial service.

The South African government has launched an investigation following the allegations, the results of which would be made public.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said at a news conference the government was “looking into this matter”, but would be unable to conclude its investigations on Wednesday because of other pressing demands ahead of Mandela’s funeral on Sunday.

Attended by nearly 100 sitting and former heads of state or government, the interpreter was supposed to be translating speeches for deaf viewers tuning into the event around the world.

However the translator, who translated eulogies including those of US President Barack Obama and Mandela’s grandchildren, was quickly labelled a “fake” by the deaf community, with prominent International and South African signing experts reacting online.

Wilma Newhoudt, a deaf member of the South African Parliament and Vice President of the World Federation of the Deaf, quickly labelled the signing as “shameful”.

Shame on this male so called interpreter on the stage. What is he signing? He knows that the deaf cannot vocally boo him off. Shame on him !

— wilma newhoudt (@newhoudt) December 10, 2013


Bruno Druchen, National Director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, alleged on Twitter that the man on stage was not an interpreter.

@Tomaslag no,he is not interpreter and never been any training as a interpreter – can’t even sign language

— Bruno Peter Druchen (@BrunoDruchen) December 10, 2013Breach of the UN Convention

Braam Jordaan, a deaf South African citizen and board member of the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section (WFD) told SBS that if the interpeter is proven to be unqualified, this could be a breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This was ratified by the South African government in 2007.

Article 9 of The Convention says that “States Parties” should take “appropriate measures” to provide “forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters.”

Article 21 also states that “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis.”

Complaints already raised over interpreter

Mrs Newhoudt has told SBS via email that the interpreter was hired by the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party.

She claims the interpreter was already known to the Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA), after previous performances for the ANC raised question marks over his credentials.

The video below from a 2012 ANC Centenery Celebration was analysed by DeafSA, who then compiled a report and sent it to ANC, but they are yet to hear back from the government.

Watch: The interpreter signing along to Jacob Zuma at ANC Centenery Celebrations in Bloemfontein, South Africa in January 2012.

Experts analyse the interpreter

Whilst hundreds of sign languages are in use around the world, both international and South African sign language experts told SBS they did not recognise any of the interpreter’s signs.

Braam Jordaan from WFD told SBS that he appeared to have “made up his own signs.”

“The structure of his hand, facial expressions and the body movements did not follow what the speaker was saying,” he told SBS via email.

The Oceania representative for the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI), Sheena Walters, also states that the signing used was not recognisable as any accepted form of international or South African sign language.

“It seems quite obvious that the interpreter isn’t using South African sign language,” she told SBS.

“Most sign languages across the world share a similar structure and pattern and this person seems to be making a lot of repetitive signs and isn’t displaying the usual facial expression or structure of sign language that you would normally see.”

At the time of publishing, the ANC has been contacted for comment over the incident but SBS has yet to receive a response.


NRL star Bird to require elbow surgery

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Gold Coast second-rower Greg Bird has joined the high-profile list of NRL stars requiring off-season surgery.


The Kangaroos’ World Cup winner carried an elbow injury for the majority of 2013 and is hoping to go under the knife next week.

Bird is expecting to be back on deck for the Auckland Nines competition in February, as is Australian teammate Billy Slater, who had an arthroscope on Thursday on the knee injury which almost sidelined him from the Cup final.

Injury news at the Roosters is also positive, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck avoiding surgery for a leg fracture and Shaun Kenny-Dowall ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken jaw suffered in the grand final.

However, the news isn’t so good for Cronulla and Penrith.

Luke Lewis will miss the start of the Sharks’ season after the shoulder injury he suffered in the World Cup when he went crashing into a fence.

And the Panthers will be without Tonga strike weapon Sika Manu for up to six months after he also returned from England needing a shoulder reconstruction.

Bird said his elbow injury had become “ugly” but is hopeful it won’t stand in his way of starting for the Titans’ Nines team.

“I’m hoping to have surgery on it next week. I see the specialist on Monday,” he said on Thursday.

“I think it’s a four-to-six-week recovery and that will put me back on the paddock about the time the Nines starts.

“I got a knock on it in Origin II and it’s got a bit of bone floating through it and the bursas, which protects the elbow joint, keeps swelling up every time it gets a bump.”

In other injury news, Tigers playmaker Tim Moltzen had surgery last week after virtually cracking his kneecap into two pieces.

The Tigers have centre Tim Simona (shoulder) out for six months and Chris Lawrence (ankle), Curtis Sironen (groin) and Keith Galloway (toe) unable to train.

At Manly, co-captain Jason King (shoulder) is hopeful of returning to full training in the new year, with Richie Fa’aoso (neck) also a chance to continue his career.

Canterbury’s Frank Pritchard picked up a hamstring injury during the World Cup, Parramatta’s Darcy Lussick had groin surgery, while at Souths Nathan Merritt and Beau Champion are overcoming niggles.

Toyota employee vote banned by court

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Toyota has been banned from asking its workers to sacrifice wages and entitlements in an effort to slash costs and help secure the future of its Melbourne plant.


The Federal Court has ordered the company to abandon putting a vote on a new workplace agreement to the 2500 workers at its Altona plant on Friday morning.

Toyota Australia president and chief executive Max Yasuda said the decision was a blow to the company’s efforts to remain competitive.

“We believe that we are within our rights to vary our workplace agreement provided the majority of our employees support the changes through a formal vote,” he said.

“The proposed changes were designed to remove outdated and uncompetitive terms and conditions that make it difficult to compete with other Toyota plants throughout the world.

“The company is doing everything that it can to secure the future for our employees.”

Justice Mordy Bromberg found on Thursday that Toyota breached the Fair Work Act by putting “further claims” in an enterprise agreement with the unions.

In his judgment, Justice Bromberg said Toyota proposed in November to vary the agreement by reducing employee entitlements, including wages.

But a group of four Toyota workers argued the proposal had breached the agreement and contravened section 50 of the Fair Work Act, and won the court’s approval.

However, the injunction does not prevent Toyota from asking its workers at some point to vote on removing the further claims provision from their workplace agreement.

If this provision was removed, it could pave the way for Toyota to again ask its employees to cut their wages.

The Altona plant will make 106,000 cars this year, mostly for export.

The company has put in place a project known as the Toyota Australia Future Business Transformation for the period 2012 to 2018, aimed at improving efficiencies and cutting $3800 out of the cost of building a car in Australia.

Mr Yasuda said Holden’s plan to cease local manufacturing puts unprecedented pressure on not only Toyota’s own operations but those of its suppliers.

Toyota shed 350 employees from Altona in early 2012 as part of its restructuring and offered 100 voluntary redundancies in October.

Dave Smith, from the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, said on Wednesday auto workers are happy to work towards productivity improvements provided they come with commitments about future investment.

But he said the union would not negotiate a new Toyota pay deal with a gun at its head.

The matter will return to court for a directions hearing in February.

No sentiment in team selection for third test, says Cook

2019年1月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

England, who arrived in Australia chasing a fourth successive Ashes triumph, have their backs well and truly against the wall in Perth after being humbled in the first two tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.


Defeat in the third match at the WACA, where England have lost their last six tests, would see Cook handing back the tiny urn that has become a symbol of Anglo-Australian rivalry.

The reputation of several leading England players has taken something of a battering and Cook said he and coach Andy Flower would consider all options before selecting their team ahead of the toss on Friday morning.

“I think we do what we always do, which is try and pick the best team to win the game,” Cook told reporters at the WACA.

“I think the grass is always greener with guys who are not playing (but) I think we’ve got a lot of good options in the squad.

“But whichever 11 we go with, sentiment is out of the question, we’ve got to make sure we think that’s the best 11 to win the game.”

Having played two spinners in Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar at Adelaide, at least one change to the England team is definite for what is expected to be a bouncy wicket at the WACA.

Where once Swann would have been certain for inclusion, four wickets at a cost of nearly 400 runs in the first two matches has had some pundits questioning the 34-year-old’s place in the side.

Bowling all-rounder Tim Bresnan looks set to return to the team after recovering from a back injury but England’s real problems have been further up the order with their specialist batsmen.

England have failed to reach 400 runs in any of their innings in seven tests against Australia this year and Cook warned that his top order needed to take special care early on in Perth.

“It’s one of those wickets where, as an Englishman, you have to get used to the bounce in the first half an hour,” said the 28-year-old, who batted for six and a half hours for a century at the WACA in 2006.

“The actual carry on this wicket is always good, it can be a fantastic place to bat, but you’ve to get ‘in’ to make the most of it.”

Another major factor in England’s poor performance so far in the series has been their susceptibility to the pace bowling of Mitchell Johnson, who has taken 17 for 216 in the two tests.

“I think our shot selection has been quite poor in this series and that’s why he’s had a lot of success against us,” said Cook.

“But it’s very dangerous to concentrate on one of their bowlers, they’ve got a good bowling attack and they’ve put us under pressure in this series.

“You can say our confidence has obviously had a hit from these first two games,” Cook added. “But we have to look forward to this game rather than back at what’s happened. That’s not going to help us.

“We think we’ve got our preparations right, we’ve talked a good game, now we have to go out and play a good game.

“It’s not about lifting the players, I think that hunger and desire, which everyone has questioned, has always been there and we’ll try and show it this week.”

(Editing by Ian Ransom)