Cook - I can handle Warne criticism
Alastair Cook has trained himself throughout his career to ignore Shane Warne-style baiting - even if he admits he has to stifle natural human responses to do so.
It is an occupational hazard for Cook, as an opening batsman and latterly Test captain, to rise above 'verbal disintegration' on and off the field.
He is in no doubt, at the start of England's Ashes campaign, that Warne is fooling no one by revisiting last summer's damning critique of his captaincy just when the tourists are fine-tuning their plans to try to win the urn for a fourth successive time.
Record-breaking Australian wicket-taker Warne, from his new position behind the microphone, first trained his sights on Cook - almost to the minute - just before England surged into a 3-0 lead in the Ashes at Durham three months ago.
This time, Warne has suggested Cook's "negative" and "boring" captaincy could lose the urn for England - and is also predicting that rising star Joe Root will be "crucified" by Australia's seamers if the tourists keep the young Yorkshireman at the top of the order on fast and bouncy pitches Down Under.
On the eve of England's four-day match against Australia A in Hobart, the second of their trip after an opening draw in Perth, Cook was prepared to go into bat for himself and his opening partner Root against Warne's 'googlies'.
He does admit, however, it perhaps goes against human nature to shrug off personal criticism.
"When someone makes a comment about you, it does change your blood pressure slightly," he said.
"No one in the world can say it doesn't.
"But I'm pretty confident and pretty skilful at being able to handle it, because over the past seven years I have done it pretty well."
Mental toughness is a quality no professional cricketer, certainly at Test level, can be without.
"One of the skills you need as an international cricketer, compared to being just a county player, is having to deal with this situation," said Cook.
"There is a lot more interest in what's going on, and how you handle yourself is whether you make the grade or not."
Cook acknowledges there are alternatives to his and England's winning formula of grinding out success, but does not appear likely to start trying to mend something as yet unbroken.
"I've always said I'm trying to learn on the job from experience, and there will be times where I could be slightly more imaginative and think slightly differently if the situation arises," he added.
"(But) we've had a pretty good run so far as a Test side.
"In my first year as a Test captain, we've won away in India - which wasn't done for a long time - won a series against Australia, and I think those are things we can be very proud of as a side.
"It's all about results... that is how a captain is judged. In sport it is pretty black and white and luckily at the moment, we've done quite a lot of winning.
"That's what it's about - the now, how we are preparing for another big challenge, winning in Australia."
As for Warne, Cook is not surprised he has been unable to change the record since last summer - and envisages more of the same.
"It doesn't seem times have changed at all, does it, since last summer?" he asked.
"It's pretty much exactly what was said in the summer. We had pretty good results then as well.
"It's not surprising, obviously being an Australian and trying to get into the English camp, but I think everyone can see that. It is what happens when England play Australia.
"It hasn't changed, from the summer, and we don't expect it to change in the next couple of months either."
Root has already made light of Warne's remarks, and Cook added: "Joe's a fantastic player... and he's a pretty unflappable guy.
"Yes, I'm sure it's slightly new to him. But that's where, I hope, the experience of people like myself, KP [Kevin Pietersen] - who've been there as batters in the top order - can give some advice.
"But he can handle himself - I've got no worries about that."
Cook missed England's first tour match because of a sore back but is now fit again to lead a team which will feature at least one, or perhaps two, of the three tall fast bowlers vying for a Test spot as third seamer behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Test certainties Pietersen, Broad and Graeme Swann are set to be in action on Wednesday after being rested at the WACA - while England will be anxious too for more clues from Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow to try to solve the puzzle of who bats at number six in the first Test.
Whoever gets the nod, Australia A captain Moises Henriques has great respect for the opposition.
"I think it's a fantastic team and a strong squad," he said.
"I thought Australia played some good cricket in England - and to still lose 3-0 I think that shows the strength of the English team and the English squad.
"I know the boys will be going even harder this summer back home on home turf."
England (v Australia A in Hobart) from: AN Cook (Captain), JE Root, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, GS Ballance, JM Bairstow, MJ Prior (wkt), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, ST Finn, CT Tremlett, WB Rankin, IR Bell, BA Stokes, MA Carberry.