We are ready to take on Pakistan: Cook

London, June 14: Buoyed by the success against Sri Lanka, England Test captain Alastair Cook believes his side are ready to take on Pakistan next month.

England beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in the recently concluded three match Test series, the last of which ended in a draw.

“Pakistan have a very good bowling attack but we are ready to play them,” Cook was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Monday. “We scored a lot of runs against a very good Australia attack last year and I think it is going to be a brilliant series. We are heading in the right direction as a side.”

Cook’s opening partner, Alex Hales got back into form after a rough patch against South Africa and scored 292 runs in the series against the Asian islanders which included three half-centuries.

“Alex Hales has tightened up his game from South Africa and learned about Test cricket. It’s great when you see someone who doesn’t quite il it, but goes away and works away at it, come back a person who understands more about Test cricket,” Cook said.

Others like Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow too impressed in the matches. “Chris Woakes, as well, has really impressed me. He’s different to Ben Stokes and while not as dymic, he is certainly very effective, bowling with pace and accuracy. He made some really big strides and that is great for our squad,” he said. “We know how Ben balances the side but he can too. Jonny Bairstow winning the man of the series was a brilliant achievement. “

Questioned if Bairstow can make the side only on his batting strength alone, Cook said, “There is always that thought when guys score as many runs as he can. He knows he has to work hard at his keeping and a couple of chances have gone down. But you don’t become a world-class wicketkeeper overnight.” IANS