Cook wants winning streak to continue
Captain Alastair Cook has called on England to finish off the NatWest Series in style when they face Australia in the fifth and final one-day international at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The convincing eight-wicket victory over Michael Clarke’s side at the Emirates Durham ICG yesterday moved England into an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber.
Half-centuries from Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott saw England surpass Australia’s 200 for nine with 13 balls to spare after paceman Steven Finn returned 4-37 from 10 overs.
The triumph was England’s ninth in a row and, after securing their seventh successive series win on home soil, Cook has urged his team to continue their ruthless streak against the tourists in Manchester in two days time.
“Four-nil looks a lot better than 3-1,” Cook said.
“They will be desperate not to let that happen, but we have got to be just as hungry as we have been in these games.
“It would be great to make it 10 wins in a row.”
Finn certainly demonstrated yesterday that he appears to be thriving on his bowling, cutting down Australia’s batsmen with the new and older ball.
The Middlesex paceman barely put a foot wrong and was on a hat-trick twice, operating at a full length and making the most of favourable conditions.
“You have got to discipline yourself (in helpful conditions),” Finn said.
“It is not the pitch that matters, but how you bowl. You have to hit the right area from ball one; we did that and built the pressure.”
Finn also hopes his impressive performances in the limited-overs formats will help him add to his 14 Test caps this summer as England take on South Africa in a mouth-watering three-match Investec series.
He said: “Everything is focused towards playing Test cricket - I have always wanted to do that.
“But first and foremost at the minute, it is trying to be a good one-day team.
“I am trying to focus on bowling and enjoying the responsibility of opening the bowling, trying to thrive on it and putting my name into the hat for Test selection.
“The main way I am going to do that, though, is by going back to Middlesex in four-day cricket rather than taking one-day wickets.
“The rhythm is good; I think I am bowling well, and there is nothing more that I can do other than go back to Middlesex and take wickets.”