x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Eoin Morgan and bowling attack the heroes for England

Alastair Cook saw the strength of his resources with the ball come to the fore in their 15-run win over Australia.

England players had a lot to celebrate as they got the better of Australia.
England players had a lot to celebrate as they got the better of Australia.

Alastair Cook had Eoin Morgan's batting and the depth of England's pace-bowling resources to thank in near equal measure for victory over Australiain the first one-day international between the sides.

Morgan's unbeaten 89 from 63 balls powered England to a defendable 272 for five at Lord's.

But Cook was well aware, after England's seventh successive one-day international win, that the efforts of his seam attack were hugely influential too.

After Australia had finished 15 runs short, despite half-centuries from captain Michael Clarke(61) and David Warner (56), Cook had praise for Morgan.

But he made sure the seam bowling of James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan received honourable mention as well - along with wicketless off-spinner Graeme Swann.

"Australia got off to a good start - but what is very nice as a captain is when you have got five experienced bowlers like that," said Cook.

"You know they might bowl the odd bad over but they don't bowl many bad spells, so we knew we would take it down to the wire.

"We thought 270 was a par score ... defendable, yes, but if someone played out of their skin we probably couldn't have defended it.

"Thankfully we just kept nipping wickets at the right time."

Cook knows he is in a position of strength to be able to keep calling up a new bowler, fresh and able to wrest back an advantage.

"It's nice as a captain when you can keep pulling on bowlers of that quality.

"You take one off and another one keeps following up and keeps the pressure on. That's the idea, anyway!

"If we are being really harsh on ourselves I don't think it was a perfect performance in the field today, or close to it, so that's encouraging."

Cook confirmed concerns about the groin injury which troubled Anderson.

"There is a slight worry about his groin," he said.

"Clearly he stayed out there; we are just going to have to assess him, probably tomorrow morning, and we'll let you know as soon as we know."

Australia, meanwhile, have precious little time to regroup before tomorrow's second match of five at the Kia Oval.

Clarke said: "This is not five trial games for us - it's five international one-dayers.

"We need to improve our one-day cricket and we're here to win.

"I guess the areas for us to improve quickly are our death bowling and losing wickets at very important stages of the game - which probably hurt us most.

"It's a tough game against a good attack; you've got to find ways, though."

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