Despite the first Ashes series of the year having concluded so recently, the war of words before the second five-match encounter has been as intense as ever and Australia's David Warner said this week that he detected fear in the tourists.
               
England have good reason to feel confident having dominated the home Ashes series 3-0 and Cook said his experienced side were taking all the pre-match hype in their stride.
               
"We certainly don't fear anyone, that's quite clear by the way we go about our business," he told reporters at the Gabba, where the first test gets underway on Thursday.
               
"We're a very competitive side and there's no reason to fear any side out there. We don't really concentrate on what people say about us, it's about how we play in that first hour,” he said.
               
"There's been a lot of words said, but when it comes to 10 o'clock, that's all irrelevant."
               
England's one injury concern before the first test is the strained calf of wicketkeeper Matt Prior but Cook sounded reasonably confident that stand-in Jonny Bairstow would not be required.
               
"He's (Prior) got the last part of his fitness to go now, yesterday he trained really well and came through all that we asked of him," he said.
               
"With leg injuries, it's usually about how you pull up the next day after a rigorous session. We'll know pretty soon."
               
Vice captain Prior, with his leg heavily strapped but clearly mobile, remained on the Gabba pitch training long after most of his team mates had packed up on Wednesday.
               
Prior and Cook were key members of the England line-up that contributed a torrent of runs three years ago when England won the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 24 years.

(Agencies)

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