Alastair Cook wants ‘rusty’ England squad to toughen up
London: Test captain Alastair Cook has ordered the ‘rusty’ English team to pull up their socks after they lost to New Zealand despite James Anderson taking his 529th international wicket, breaking Sir Ian Botham’s record of 528.
Admitting that his team’s top batsmen were a bit pressurised towards the end of the match, Cook said that problems are bound to happen if the team goes into a series without a practice match, although he added that they were lacking match hardness and toughness.
However, Cook accepted that there was an element of removing the rustiness because Anderson, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott were playing their first game since the series win in India.
Praising Anderson, Cook said that although Anderson bowled extremely well, it is necessary for the entire team to improve their game and not rest on the laurels of a single player.
Anderson had broken Botham’s record by rearranging Kiwi player Bradley-John Watling’s middle stump with a trademark in-swinger.
New Zealand won the opening one-day international by three wickets with seven balls to spare after opener Martin Guptill, who had retired hurt on three with a strained hamstring, returned to play a match-winning cameo.
Batting first, England’s innings subsided from 190-3 to 258 all out as the last seven wickets crashed for 68 in 10 overs.