England have worked very hard for the No.1 spot: Strauss

August 13th, 2011 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, Aug 13 (IANS) England captain Andrew Strauss Saturday lauded his team for working hard to become World No.1 Test team, replacing India.

England won the third Test by an innings and 242-run loss and took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match series that ended India’s 22- month stay at top.

“Getting to No. 1 has been a goal for a long time and it fills me with a lot of pride to know we have completed something very special. We have had to work very had and the guys have put a lot of hard graft to get to No.1,” said Strauss.

The England captain was all praise for opening batsman Alastair Cook, who batted for 13 hours, for his career best 294. Strauss (87) and Cook set the tone of the innings with their 186-run opening stand.

“It was fantastic to get runs myself and then sit on the sofa and watch Cookie bat for two days. He has amazing concentration and determination, he’s in this patch at the moment where he’s very clear what his game was and he’s an example for us all,” he said.

Asked about his decision to bowl, Strauss said: “It wasn’t a massive gamble to bowl first, there was probably less in the wicket than we thought there would be, and by the time we batted the wicket had gone flat. The wickets have been shared around the bowlers and the pressure they have applied has been relentless.”

Cook, who was adjudged as Man of the Match, said he was pleased with his efforts despite missing out on a deserving triple century.

“The work put in over the week off has paid dividends for me. Over the last 12 months scoring big hundreds was what I needed to work at and I’m glad that’s happened. You want the attacking middle order players to go at the tiring bowlers later in the day. I am very pleased but it’s a huge team effort to bowl a team like that (India) out for less than 250 on a flat wicket in both innings,” he said.

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