London: England captain Alastair Cook has dismissed the suggestion that his team had failed to take the challenge presented by New Zealand seriously enough after the tourists had to rely on a collective rearguard action in the final Test to secure a draw in the match and the series.
Monty Panesar and Matt Prior, who hit an unbeaten century in an epic innings, had to see out the final overs of a tense finish after telling contributions from Stuart Broad, Ian Bell and Joe Root, all digging in to salvage a match that looked to be New Zealand`s for the taking.
The result meant all three matches in the series were drawn with England only threatening victory in one against a team ranked six places below them in the international Test rankings
Cook said they weren`t complacent, adding they didn`t play as well as they could do and you get found out very quickly in international cricket.
Cook praised another backs-against-the-walls show of grit from his team, but was realistic enough to admit that the result showed that there was still plenty of work to be done to return to the top of the rankings, the paper concluded.