After an emphatic 57-run win over Australia in the fourth ODI, Alastair Cook hailed the way the lads performed to get their first victory down under after losing eight matches in a row.
Speaking to ecb.co.uk, he said: “At the start of the day you wake up thinking ‘if you lose another one, it’s 9-0, 10-0’. But actually the way we played today was fantastic.
“We played a really good game. We took some really positive options with the bat and we held our nerve with the ball.
“We didn’t start so well with the ball, but I liked the way people got it wrong but dusted themselves off and improved and got it right later on in the game.”
Cook then spoke about how the team got off to a good start with Stokes, Buttler, Bell and Cook himself getting runs. He also reflected on England’s 2012 Tour to UAE where he and Pietersen got two centuries each, and though this time there haven’t been many hundreds, he is optimistic that it’ll happen soon because of the team’s capability.
“We got a bit of a flyer,” he said. “If you’re being hypercritical, one of us - me and Belly - would have liked to carry on and the difference would make 340. But that doesn’t always happen and it hasn’t quite happened on this trip.
“I can remember when we won in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan, we scored four hundreds on that trip and we won 4-0. We know we’ve got people to do that and I think you saw glimpses today that was there.
“Stokesy played a very mature innings and Jos at the end is incredibly hard to bowl at. People like that are match-winners. We’ve just got to keep working really hard on our games and keep improving.
“I think the encouraging thing is after all what’s happened - I know it’s only one game - I think even from the start of this one-day series until now we’ve made big strides in these conditions, which we’ll need in a year’s time.”
The English bowlers held on to their nerves and bowled really well throughout the match, especially in the phase when it looked like Finch alone could take Australia home.
Rather than giving the credit to his bowling changes, Cook praised the bowlers’ will to do well.
“That’s more luck that judgement. That’s more down to the bowlers being ready to bowl. That doesn’t always happen,” Cook added.
“I can give a lot of credit to the bowlers, the way they held their nerve. They could have been ‘here we go again’ after they were 48 for none off five or whatever they were. But they dusted themselves off and came back.
“And what impressed me a lot is, if you go back to Brisbane where we should have defended 300, Stokesy - who had a bit of a tough last few overs - he was the one who was crying out for the ball in those last 10 overs and bowled really well.
“It’s not always going to happen but we need those guys who are prepared to put themselves on the line again, and this time he delivered. He’ll admit that he bowled a lot better.”
England now move to The Adelaide Oval to try and win the last ODI where Clarke and Watson would be seen in the team again and Johnson would be rested.
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