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Cook lauds amazing Anderson

Alastair Cook admits there is no bowler in the world he would rather call upon than James Anderson after the Lancastrian helped England take a 1-0 lead in the Investec Ashes Series.

The paceman highlighted his importance to his country with a number of game-changing spells in the thrilling 14-run victory over Australia at Trent Bridge, the final dismissal of Brad Haddin for 71 completing impressive match figures of 10-158.

Asked if he would like anyone else at his disposal, England skipper Cook replied: "No. In any conditions now.

"They were very sub-continent conditions and he was outstanding. He swings it both ways on an immaculate length and makes it very hard to score.”

Anderson edged England closer to victory this morning with three wickets for six runs during a tireless 13-over burst that saw him shine with both the old and new balls.

Despite the heat in Nottingham, Cook had no worries in keeping his premier bowler on for so long, explaining: "When a bowler hits a rhythm you just keep asking him if he's feeling alright.

"We weren't planning to take the new ball; we wanted to keep the old ball because it was hard to score off. 

“But it was so soft it wasn't doing a lot for Swanny. So we changed tactics.

"That's why you do the training in the gym, that's the bottom line. When your captain needs you to do it you are physically fit to do it.

"We know his skill but his heart to keep running in on a hot day on a flat wicket was outstanding.”

Anderson’s third wicket of the morning reduced Australia to 231 for nine, at which stage they still required another 80 to win.

Yet a 10th-wicket stand of 65 between Haddin and James Pattinson threatened to edge the tourists to an unexpected triumph until Anderson removed the former with the aid of a successful review.

There may have been nerves around the ground, but Cook insists he did not feel the pressure.

He added: "I felt pretty calm as I felt we would create chances.

"In the heat of the moment you can panic but you have to look at conditions and with a reverse-swinging ball, you just felt we would give ourselves some chances to take.

"They batted extremely well. Pattinson and Haddin took some risks that paid off.

"Lunch break came at the right time. We wouldn't have taken the half-hour if there was the chance.

"At lunch it was a matter of 'we will create one more chance'. Everyone is heightened, you are going to be nervous.

“Sitting back now that's why you play the game. The atmosphere after lunch was incredible.”

Michael Clarke hailed the fighting spirit of Haddin after the wicketkeeper-batsman almost got Australia over the line.

Vice-captain Haddin, recalled to the side for the tour of England, made up for his cheap dismissal in the first innings with a determined 71 off 147 deliveries.

Clarke said: "It’s a pretty tough loss, especially after getting so close. Credit has to go England - they continued to fight throughout the five days and managed to get over the line.

“I think our boys should hold their heads high. It was another example of experience in your squad with the way Brad Haddin played. He deserves a lot of credit for fighting so hard.

“There is nobody more disappointed in the changing room than Brad.” 

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