England v New Zealand: Cook braced for ‘tough’ Black Caps Test
England v New Zealand: Alastair Cook says he is braced for another "tough" challenge against the Black Caps in the final Test
Alastair Cook says he is braced for a “tough” challenge against New Zealand in the second and final Test at Headingley on Friday.
Stuart Broad’s heroics – the bowler took seven wickets in 11 overs – helped steer the hosts to a 170-run victory over the Black Caps in the first Test at Lord’s.
Despite winning in style courtesy of an impressive day-four performance, Cook expects New Zealand to pose a threat in the final match of the two-Test series.
“If you look at it without the emotive side of last week’s game, it was nip and tuck for three days,” said Cook.
“We had to work very hard in those three days to get ourselves in a position to win the game.”
Cook added: “We piled through that door pretty hard in the end – but we know how hard and tough this New Zealand side are.”
Cook also urged his England side to forget about future challenges this summer – including the Ashes – ahead of the final Test in the New Zealand series.
“It’s very important as a team that you stay in the present. We know what’s coming up in the summer, but we have to focus on this game and these five days,” he said.
“That’s the way you have to operate, so that’s how we will operate.
“Winning is vitally important – we want to win every game and series we’re involved in. It sounds simple but it will take a lot of hard work.”