Cook pleased with ‘toughened up’ team


England captain Alastair Cook praised his side’s all-round effort in winning the third Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston, saying that while there were no stand-out performances, nearly everyone contributed.

England won by 141 runs late on day five, with the bowlers sharing the wickets between them at two each. Pakistan needed to resist for less than a day with all 10 wickets in hand, but could not.

Cook said after the match: “Everyone will be in the dressing-room feeling proud to be part of the team and feeling like they contributed. That doesn’t always happen.

“In an absolutely ideal world, I thought there were hundreds left out there. But everyone responded, and I think this side might have just toughened up a little bit.

“It was hard in the second innings. We weren’t scoring any runs, but everyone dug in.

“We bowled brilliantly. It reverse-swung a little bit. I don’t think it did it massively. It just did enough and if it does a bit either way, Jimmy and Stuart are very good.”

If England win the fourth Test as well, and thus take a 3-1 series win, combined with a loss for India in the West Indies, then Cook’s side could top the rankings. But he says that would not be an accurate reflection of where his team is.

He added: “If we become number one there, that’s fantastic. But it will be a bit of an irrelevance, because this side has still got much further to go.

“If we do win at The Oval, I wouldn’t say we are anywhere near our potential. I thought that might come in a couple of years’ time.”