ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss believes his world-beating team’s famed resilience with both bat and ball allowed them to prevail in a tough first Test of the summer against West Indies.
Many predicted an easy home victory at Lord’s, as stage one of a landslide success in this three-match Investec series.
But after England appeared to take control over the first two days, on the back of Strauss’ first Test century in 18 months and man-of-the-match Stuart Broad’s career-best seven for 72 in the first innings, it all turned out to be a little bit closer than most expected.
There was still a degree of comfort as England got home on the final afternoon with five wickets to spare, thanks to half-centuries from Alastair Cook (79) and Ian Bell (63no) in pursuit of 191.
But the West Indies - batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and strike bowler Kemar Roach in particular - hinted at the tourists’ increasing potential.
Certainly at 57 for four yesterday morning, England had work to do.
“Whenever you’re chasing there’s a bit of pressure, so it was an outstanding effort from Cook and Bell,” said Strauss.
“They played in a very classy manner.
“It was getting a bit harder, but we had faith the wicket would stay flat and slow.
“Our plan was just to negotiate the new ball, and things would become more simple.
“That’s one of our real strengths as a side - a number of players play in different ways.
“It is reassuring - with Cook and Trott at the crease, and shot-players further down the innings.
“We all know Cook’s qualities, and I’m sure he’s pleased to see the boys home.”
England have named an unchanged squad for the second Test, starting at Trent Bridge on Friday, with England sticking to a winning formula.
The 13-man squad includes Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan and wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.