Ashes 2013: England’s Cook thrilled to retain urn after three Tests
Ashes 2013: England's Alastair Cook admits his delight at retaining the urn after three Tests following a final day washout at Old Trafford
Alastair Cook has admitted he is delighted after England retained the Ashes in just three Tests – for the first time since 1929.
The hosts were on the ropes with the score on 37-3 when the rain came after 20.3 overs on the final day with Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen all back in the pavilion at Old Trafford.
However, to the delight of England, the rain stayed with umpires calling the match a draw at 4:39pm. The last time England won the Ashes after just three Tests was 84 years ago.
A clearly fatigued but delighted Cook said: “To be in this position after three Tests is very pleasing. It was a bit of an anti-climax today, but we had to fight hard in that first innings and the lads batted well to bat for those 140 overs (in the first innings).”
Both teams will now travel to Durham where the next Test starts on Friday and England’s skipper says his team will not let up now they have secured their main series goal.
“The first job’s done to retain the Ashes, the next is to win the series,” added Cook.
The 28-year-old was also keen to laud the accomplishments of Ian Bell and his team for their performances over the last month.
Bell is currently top of the run-scoring charts thanks to his back-to-back hundreds in the first two Tests at Trent Bridge and Lord’s.
“Ian Bell’s had a quiet time leading up to the series but that hundred at Trent Bridge was fantastic, then coming in at 30-3 at Lord’s, to respond with a hundred was great,” said Cook, speaking after the match.
He also celebrated Kevin Pietersen’s vital 113 at Old Trafford as England importantly managed to surpass the follow-on mark after Australia’s 527 for seven declared in the first innings.
“It was a fine innings by Kevin Pietersen here, a fantastic knock and that’s why he’s world-class to produce knocks like that and perfectly timed in the situation,” added Cook.
“With a four-man attack the lads had to put a huge amount of effort in and the time in the field will have taken it out of them but we’ll recover well. Credit to Australia and hopefully we can play better in Durham.”
“The weather hasn’t been ideal but you can’t predict that. It hasn’t quite got the atmosphere before of that but the feeling is a pleasant one.
“We’ve retained the Ashes and now we want to go and win them. If you’d said that after three Tests I’d have snapped your hand off to be in this position. It’s a nice feeling, we’ll enjoy it tonight but we’ll go to Durham and work hard there.”