England v New Zealand: Alastair Cook thrilled with series triumph
England v New Zealand: Alastair Cook hails a "great" series win after securing a 247-run second-Test triumph at Headingley
Alastair Cook praised England for a “great” series triumph after the hosts won by 247 runs against New Zealand on the final day of the second Test at Headingley.
England had to contend with the showery weather conditions and a stubborn Black Caps lower order which threatened to rob Cook’s men of a deserved Test win and a 2-0 series triumph.
After a delayed start, Stuart Broad caught and bowled Brendon McCullum, while Tim Southee edged a shot to Jonathan Trott off Graeme Swann’s bowling before play was halted for two-and-half hours due to rain.
But England, who were running out of time, took 12 minutes upon resumption of play to strike again as Swann dismissed Doug Bracewell – and James Anderson wrapped up the victory with the final wicket of Trent Boult.
“It’s great to win 2-0, they were two good performances. I think we played better in this game than we did at Lord’s, we knew the weather was about so we needed a couple of hours and the groundsman did a fantastic job,” said Cook.
The England captain, who scored his 25th Test century on Monday, was criticised for not enforcing the follow-on and potentially putting the victory in jeopardy.
But Cook explained his decision to ask England to play out their second innings, while admitting he could have declared earlier on day four.
“Tactically, we wanted some more wear into that pitch and you saw quite a few balls misbehaved, the rough getting deeper and deeper, and I think that proved pretty good tactics,” added Cook.
“If you’re nit-picking, with that last 45 minutes yesterday, you could have said we could have pushed on but obviously we were pretty happy with the position we got ourselves in.
“There are lots of diff ways of attacking – you don’t always have to crowd the bat – there are always times when you think you can do things differently.”