Cricket: Cook comfortable with decision after victory

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Alastair Cook brushed aside criticism of England’s tactics during the second Investec Test against New Zealand, vindicated by a 247-run victory at Headingley.

A variety of decisions - from not enforcing the follow-on, to taking time out of the game by setting a large winning target of 468 - caused debate due to the possibility of rain on the final day yesterday.

As it was there were two delays that occupied almost three hours of playing time, but England still managed to bowl out the tourists for 220, collecting the final four wickets in 21.5 overs.

Cook said: “I think the result vindicates the decisions. There is no doubt about that at all. It is very easy when you are sitting behind the rope to say ‘I would have pulled out with 350 on the board’. It is easy to say when you are not making the decision and you are not responsible for it.

“You are judged as a captain on results. In this game we have won by 250 runs.

“You woke up this morning and first thing you do is look out the window. I wouldn’t say it was a sleepless night but we were praying for an opportunity to get enough time to go out there and win the game. To win by nearly 250 runs is a good win and in just effectively over three days of cricket.”

Sheffield’s Joe Root was named Man-of-the-Series for England.