Alastair Cook keeps cool after overdue England win
Tuesday 14 February 2012
Alastair Cook is determined his England team will keep their cool in victory, just as they have had to so often in defeat.
Cook's limited-overs career-best 137 was followed by another personal high of four for 34 from fast bowler Steven Finn as England won only their second international match in 11 attempts yesterday.
But the captain knows it will count for little if they fail to build on the 1-0 lead they have given themselves in a four-match one-day international series which continues against Pakistan tomorrow, back at the Zayed Stadium.
"It's only one game, so let's not get too carried away too much about everything," said Cook.
"It was a really good performance, and we'll enjoy tonight and the feeling of winning the game and make sure we come back as a side on Wednesday.
"There's a sense of satisfaction at the moment.
"But when you lose, you try not to get too down, and when you win, especially with back-to-back games, it's important you look at areas again where we think we can improve."
England will doubtless see little need to change a side which has at last chalked up a victory, after a 5-0 ODI trouncing under Cook in India last autumn and then a 3-0 Test whitewash against Pakistan here.
In any case, the fitness of seamer Tim Bresnan and uncapped batsman Jos Buttler remains in doubt.
Bresnan was back for last week's warm-up match against the Lions after an elbow injury, but was then a surprise absentee yesterday morning when England instead recalled James Anderson to their ODI plans.
"Bresy was close, probably fit as such, but match fit is a slightly different thing to be game ready, and I thought our three seamers were excellent," said Cook.
"It's hard when you've been injured and haven't played games for a while just to come back in against a very good Pakistan side.
"We thought that was probably just a bit too much to ask."
Buttler's prospects appear still less encouraging.
The 21-year-old split the webbing in his left hand last week, on the day England named their ODI squad.
Cook said of the injury: "It's healing, slowly.
"It's a big cut on his webbing. He's batting again, but it is a risk in the field if you get a blow like that and it cuts open again.
"We'll keep looking at it."
On the bright side, England can only be delighted with the form of those who helped Cook put 260 on the board and then bowled Pakistan out for only 130 in 35 overs.
Younus Khan, one of Finn's victims, said: "The way they bowled the first 10 overs, they outclassed us.
"Cook played a wonderful knock and was very positive right from the start.
"(Ravi) Bopara played (well) after a long time, and then Finn bowled very well."
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