New Zealand v England: We were rusty, admits Cook after defeat

New Zealand v England: Alastair Cook concedes his side were "a little bit rusty" after three-wickets loss in first one-day international

alastair cook
England suffered a three-wicket defeat by New Zealand on Sunday Photo: Back Page Images

alastair cook

England captain Alastair Cook conceded his side were “a little bit rusty” after being defeated by three wickets in the first one-day international against New Zealand in Hamilton.

Three individual half-centuries from Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root, who has been handed an incremental contract by the ECB guided England to a total of 258.

Cook was left to rue a schedule that had denied his 50-over side a warm-up match, with several of the team, including himself, short of match sharpness after a midwinter rest.

“You always are a little bit rusty, when you haven’t had a practice match or a training session as a side,” said Cook.

“But it was more match hardness, which we were missing a little bit today.”

Cook admitted that the lack of match sharpness left his side short in their pursuit of victory, both with the bat and ball.

He added: “We got ourselves in position to win that, but they got themselves over the line, and we couldn’t quite manage to put the pressure on them.”

“We just kept losing wickets at crucial times, and never really got the partnership towards the end of the innings – which could have got us up to 280 or 290.”

In defeat, James Anderson claimed his 529th international wicket, with the scalp of Bradley-John Watling in the first over.

The Lancashire man surpassed Sir Ian Botham in the process to become the most successful England bowler in history.

“That’s a fantastic stat to have, and record to have, and he thoroughly deserves it,” said Cook. “I think he’s in really good shape. The last three years, he’s led the attack, and he’s an outstanding bowler.”

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