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Strauss thrilled for resurgent Cook

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Watch highlights of the final day at the Adelaide Oval, reaction from captain and centurion Andrew Strauss - and Jonathan Trott's sensational catch

Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss, who hit 102, was pleased with his own form, but took greater pleasure in Alastair Cook's impressive unbeaten 111

Alastair Cook's return to form was the single biggest success story of England's drawn Ashes warm-up match against South Australia.

Rain took a full session out of the third and final day at the Adelaide Oval and therefore wrecked any proper chance of England pushing for a second successive victory in their two attempts so far.

But Cook's unbeaten 111 and captain Andrew Strauss' 102, in an opening stand of 181, propelled England to a second-innings 240 for one declared.

When SA began their improbable pursuit of 308 in 65 overs, England could still hope to close out a second win to follow last week's six-wicket triumph over Western Australia in Perth.

Instead, forecast bad weather set in and allowed the hosts to reach stumps on 48 for two - despite two more scalps for James Anderson, who finished with match figures of 5-85.

Strauss raced to his second hundred of the tour - off only 118 balls - but he appeared equally pleased afterwards with Cook's 162-ball effort, which followed his hard-working 32 in the first innings but two single-figure failures at the WACA.

"Everyone wants to get runs early in the tour, to settle down and get used to the conditions," said captain Strauss.

"He batted exceptionally well. It wasn't just the fact he got runs; it was the way he did it.

"His foot movement was very good and his timing was crisp. He'll be feeling pretty good about himself, and that's good for the team."

Strauss resisted the temptation to agree that England's performances have been near perfect in their first two matches.

"I think our batting could have gone better, actually, certainly the first innings in both games," he added.

"In Australia, you set up the match by how you bat in the first innings. We'll be looking for big first-innings scores, and we haven't done that quite as much as we should have done."

They stumbled to 95 for four here on day one before Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell shared an important stand of 131.

"We didn't have it all our own way, losing four wickets quite early on the first morning - which wasn't ideal," Strauss said.

James Anderson

Strauss remained coy on whether the seamers would play in the final warm-up match after finding form over the first two games

"But from that point onwards, we reacted very well. Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood played exceptionally well in the first innings.

"Our bowlers did a really top-quality job to bowl them out for 220 on a very flat wicket, and obviously we followed up with some good, positive cricket in the second half of the game."

Each of England's four-man frontline bowling attack has gradually improved, making it perhaps ever more likely that the pace contingent may be rested for next week's match against Australia A in Tasmania and sent on early for the first Test in Brisbane.

Strauss insists, however, nothing is yet set in stone.

He said: "The situation at the moment is that everyone is flying down to Hobart. Then we've got to decide what is the best preparation for those seam bowlers for Brisbane.

"We'll talk to them individually and then decide what the best bowling attack for that Australia A game is.

"There is definitely that option to send them up there to get acclimatised to the humidity - you can see the merits in that - but we haven't decided one way or another at this stage."

England's relatively serene progress has been at odds with Australia's awkward start to the winter - including a one-day international series defeat at home to Sri Lanka - and suggestions that their selectors will name a squad of 16 on Monday to try to cover all bases for Brisbane.

Strauss said: "We were quite clear about the majority of our Test XI before we got on the plane.

"But everyone likes stability and security, knowing where they stand. If that's not the case for Australia, then that could be a good thing for us.

"The preparation has gone well so far. We've got one more game to up it a level before the Test match.

"The last thing we can do is get complacent and pat ourselves on the back, because we are ramping up our preparations."

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