New Zealand v England: Alastair Cook hails ‘outstanding’ bowlers

New Zealand v England: Alastair Cook hails his bowlers ahead of the final Test against the Black Caps in Auckland on Thursday

Alastair Cook heaped praise on England’s attack for an “outstanding” performance in the drawn second Test in Wellington.

Despite facing a very slow wicket, Cook’s bowlers limited the hosts to a paltry 254 in their first innings, with Stuart Broad returning to form and taking 6-51.

Cook was also impressed with James Anderson’s tenacity as the Lancashire man took two wickets in the 25 overs bowled against the Black Caps in difficult conditions.

With the Auckland Test all or nothing for Cook’s men following draws in Dunedin and Wellington, the England captain is drawing confidence from his bowlers’ form.

“It was outstanding in the first innings to bowl New Zealand out for 254,” said Cook ahead of the third Test, which start on Thursday.

“It was a great effort on that wicket. They were back to their best, putting New Zealand under a lot of pressure and not letting them get away from us. That’s one of our hallmarks as a bowling attack.

“Jimmy Anderson, although he didn’t get the wickets, bowled 30 overs into that wind was an outstanding effort.

“Obviously Broad got the wickets and it was great to see him back bowling as he previously has done.”

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