New Zealand v England, 3rd ODI, Auckland February 23, 2013

Cook praises England's new-ball attack

ESPNcricinfo staff

England captain Alastair Cook heaped praise on fast bowlers James Anderson and Steven Finn after his side won the third ODI against New Zealand in Auckland by five wickets, and with it the series 2-1.

"They have been magnificent, these two games," he said after the match. "Finny's pace, I think, has been up around the 90mph mark pretty much all the time, and Jimmy's world class and he showed it again here."

Finn and Anderson left the hosts reeling at 11 for 3 by the eighth over and Cook said it gave the team a definite advantage. "I think they were 20 for 2 in the game before, and today they were 20 for 3 after 10 or 15 overs. From a captain's point of view it's pretty easy after that. When McCullum gets going, it's a little frustrating, but 180 wasn't enough and we handled the pressure of chasing pretty well."

Finn said it was great to form a partnership Anderson, whom he called one of the best fast bowlers in the world. "To be able to bowl at the other end and to feed off him and learn off him is brilliant," he said on Sky Sports 1. "We felt we didn't quite get it right in the first game - maybe we were a little bit rusty but playing these last few games we felt really good. We've set the tone early and the batsmen have been brilliant as well, so it's been great."

Cook also praised England's comeback in the series after they lost the first ODI by three wickets. "We showed a lot of character in these last two must-win games and that can only bode well for us in the future." He wanted England to maintain their level of focus as they prepared for three-Test series.

"We're going to have to do it again in the Test series because they're very dangerous players, and if we're off our game they're going to punish us. There's absolutely no complacency."

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  • John on February 23, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    I get the feeling that Finn's shorter run has probably reduced his maximum speed a little but his average speed will not change much, if at all. If he can expend less energy while bowling then his speed will stay up for longer, which will be particularly important for Test cricket. he should probably be closer to 140 by the end of the day where he may have been closer to 130 with his longer run. It may well have helped to improve his accuracy too, which has been a weakness at times. It will be interesting to see whether his overall consistency is improved during the Test series. Of course, if it aids him in not hitting the stumps with his knee then that's a positive too.

  • Nicholas on February 23, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    It's all fine and pretty when things go right; if something aint broke, don't fix it - right? But when things aren't going to good - e.g. the first ODI game against NZ, Cook (and England in general because it was the same under Strauss) are still too afraid to try something different. If certain bowlers are going at 9 an over and not looking like taking a wicket, the good captains out there today throw the ball to someone else, even it's only a part-time bowler. It's a risk - I get that; but just that change in pace... that change in action... it can all make a difference and disrupt even a settled batsman - keep 'em thinking. A good win looks amazing; a bad thrashing looks awful!

  • John on February 23, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    @uzairamir on (February 23, 2013, 13:21 GMT) probably early days re Cook. India was a great win , more because of the fact they bounced back from a heavy defeat than because they beat a brilliant side. Beating NZ 2-1 (no disrespect to NZ meant) is hardly anything Eng couldn't have done under Strauss

  • John on February 23, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    The new ball bowling in the last two games has been outstanding. Finn's shortened run-up has really worked for him and Anderson is bowling as well as he ever has in ODIs.

    What was really pleasing was that Broad and Woakes also bowled very well, so the pressure was not relieved when the openers took a break. Woakes in particular bowled a very tight line and length and was clocking around 136kph average, respectable pace. Swann's not quite got it right yet, but the more he bowls, the better he gets.

    The batting was efficient and those who call for Trott to be dropped always forget how valuable it is to have a solid foundation almost every game from which an attack can be launched. He was missed when he was rested for the India series (along with Broad, Anderson and Swann, of course). Root's temperament continues to amaze; he seems to have complete control over his nerves, which for someone just turned 22 is very unusual.

    Add KP and this is a very useful team.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Finn still not reaching the pace he did during Englands failed ODI tour of INdi at the end of 2011. He regularly clocked 154 and one ball at 157 and was abou tthe only player to return with credit from the series defeat 15 months ago. Still, seaming it both ways and bowling in the mid 140's seems enough for the moment. I noticed recently that Morkel was bowling at 137-142 (didn't bowl a ball faster than 142 in the couple of tests he played against Pakistan) Mike Hazelman was calling him "Really rapid" and repeatedly saying stuff like "That's like a bolt of lightning" at balls registering between 135 and 138kph which is what the vast majority of Morkel's balls were according to the speed gun there. Not sure speed is as important as people make out. Otherwise Irfan and Tate would be the best test bowlers today and McGrath would have been a trundler at best.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Under strauss they looked like a lame team?? You've got to be kidding! All the groundwork was laid by Strauss. Cook polished it further. It is a highly insulting accusation against Strauss.

  • John on February 23, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Finn and Anderson certainly bowled well today and, while they'll come up against better top orders than NZ's, I think that any team likely would have had their share of problems with their bowling today. That said, the fact that both were taken for a really big over each by McCullum shows just how destructive he can be when on song. During the second game, it was Broad and Woakes who bore the brunt of Brendan McCullum's onslaught so I think that people were a bit too quick to criticise Broad's performance. The way McCullum was playing, I think that any bowler in the world could have suffered. The fact that most would agree that Anderson bowled well today and yet Broad ended with better figures should suggest that Broad should probably not be discarded just yet. I'm sure that Broad will play the first Test and I think that he should. We'll know more about his rehab after that.

  • gurinder on February 23, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    finn needs swinging conditions to be effective , he was clueless in recent series defeats in india

  • uzair on February 23, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    the england team is so different under cook.Under strauss this looked like a lame team but under cook its an excellent team

  • $$ milind on February 23, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    We are seeing some excellent new ball bowlers in the present - Finn, Steyn, Anderson, Starc, Philander, Morne Morkel, Kulasekara, Bhuvaneshwar, Junaid Khan, etc .As a pair u will have a stiff competition betn Steyn and Morne vs Jimmy and Finn . But the best new ball bowler would be Steyn becoz he swings it with pace

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