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Absorbed lessons to look to future – Cook

July 11th, 2015 | by admin
Absorbed lessons to look to future – Cook
England
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Alastair Cook praised his team’s attacking mindset after England wrapped up a comprehensive 169-run victory in the first Investec Test in Cardiff, adding that they had absorbed the hard lessons of defeat in Australia two years ago but turned their thoughts to the future.

Victory was sealed with a full day to spare after Australia collapsed to 242 all out chasing an improbable 412 for victory. Joe Root, the Man of the Match for his first-day 134, took the winning catch off the bowling of Moeen Ali, who finished with five wickets in his maiden Ashes Test to go alongside his first-innings 77.

Cook, who won the Ashes on home soil in 2013 but also presided over England’s 5-0 whitewash in Australia, said that there had been no point in his players dwelling on what had gone before, especially with so many new faces in the team who did not play a part in that contest.

“It’s like the press conference before the game, everyone was talking about the past but we can’t control that,” Cook told Sky Sports. “Yeah, we were disappointing in Australia but this is here, a different side, with different players and we had to look forward.

“We’ve got an experienced four or five guys and some who are really inexperienced in terms of Ashes cricket. You can’t change the past, there’s nothing to write about, but you can try to learn from it and I thought the way the guys went about their business in this game [was great].

“You always try to take the attacking option, always hunting for wickets with the ball, and we took some good catches as well.”

Few catches were better than the one-handed grab at short midwicket that Cook himself clung on to to remove the dangerous Brad Haddin for 7. He put that down to some hard work during England’s four-day training camp in Spain prior to the start of the series.

“Most people thought we were going for a holiday,” he said. “But alongside the golf, the catching was very important. There were a few sore hands but it’s paid off.”

Cook said that his players intended to enjoy their Saturday night off in Cardiff before turning their attentions to the second Test at Lord’s, which gets underway on Thursday.

“This Test match couldn’t have gone any better,” he said. “We are going to enjoy tonight, enjoy the success and hopefully come back to put in back-to-back performances at Lord’s.

“We’ve got a good mix,” he added. “The enthusiasm is there, you only have to look at our football in the morning, the guys are loving being around each other. It’s been a good four days, and it obviously helps when are on top.”

Cook singled out Root for particular praise, given the manner in which he salvaged England’s position on the tense first day of the contest. “The way Joe Root played, to be 43 for 3 and score 134 on the first day of an Ashes series when the tension is there was fantastic and the bowlers were superb on a pretty slow wicket.”

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