New Zealand v England: Cook believes pace holds key to victory

New Zealand v England: Captain Alastair Cook believes the bowling attack holds the key to triumphing in the third and final ODI

alastair cook
Alastair Cook's side take on New Zealand on Saturday Photo: The Sport Review

alastair cook

Alastair Cook believes that England’s bowling attack holds the key to triumphing in the third and final one-day international against New Zealand on Saturday.

The England captain stated that the performances of Steven Finn and James Anderson, who picked up 5-34 en-route to an eight-wicket victory in the second ODI in Napier, will be crucial again.

“The first 12 overs were probably the best I can remember from our bowlers”, said Cook.

“Steven Finn and James Anderson really set that tone and we put them right on the back foot. Because we had that great start, we felt that whatever runs they got we’d be okay on a cracking batting pitch.”

“McCullum got them up to a defendable total but I thought if we kept wickets in hand we were very comfortable in chasing it.”

The New Zealand captain also admitted that he felt his side were at least 20 runs short in their final total of 269 all out.

Jonathan Trott, who has returned to the side from his midwinter break with two half-centuries in the series so far, was also effusive in his praise of England’s opening duo.

“It’s important when you win the toss and decide to bowl first that you set the tone and our opening bowlers certainly did that — Finny and Jimmy did really well.

“McCullum played a fantastic innings but we held together and bowled them out for what was an achievable total.”

The Third ODI begins at 01:00GMT on Saturday morning in Auckland.

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