Cook pleased with golden 2012
Alastair Cook has reflected positively on England’s progress in the one-day international arena.
An eighth successive ODI series victory on home soil eluded England yesterday as South Africa capitalised on a poor batting performance to triumph by seven wickets at Trent Bridge.
The Proteas’ success ensured the NatWest Series was drawn, but Cook - despite being frustrated by his side’s failure to press home their advantage - has plenty to be proud of.
England claimed victory in 12 out of 14 completed ODIs in 2012 and also sit top of the International Cricket Council’s rankings for the 50-over format.
“There are a lot of really encouraging things,” said Cook.
“Athers (Sky Sports broadcaster and former England captain Mike Atherton) said it’s the highest percentage (of wins) we’ve ever had as a one-day side, this year.
“Clearly we are all disappointed now (by the Trent Bridge defeat), but sometimes you have got to look at the big picture.”
Cook is now focussed on ensuring England become ever more consistent - particularly after presiding over an unusually off-colour display in Nottingham.
“As a side, our real challenge has always been to be as consistent as we can,” he explained.
"We've made huge strides with that. But there's always that performance in there, which we're trying to eradicate.”
One man who has had no problem with consistency this summer has been South Africa batsman Hashim Amla.
An unbeaten 97 in yesterday’s game took his tally to 335 in four NatWest Series innings - a healthy return from a man who contributed 482 runs in the preceding Investec Tests.
Asked how long he can continue his stunning form, Amla replied: “I don’t know. I’m just enjoying it and I think this innings was probably one of the most enjoyable because we were in a spot of bother.
“I got in at the (Kia) Oval and Lord’s as well – I think it was just a matter of staying in. Fortunately, the total wasn’t so big, so we (he and AB de Villiers) could just bide our time and take less risks.
“Also, I played at Notts for a season, so it’s almost like a home ground to me. I was just glad that I managed to give something back to the faithful here.”