Manchester: England skipper Alastair Cook has expressed satisfaction over the outcome of James Anderson-Ravindra Jadeja verdict and is happy that the fast bowler is now available for remaining two matches of this series, starting with the fourth Test.
Anderson was pronounced not-guilty in the alleged case of physical abuse against the Indian all-rounder by the ICC's judicial commission last Friday. The ICC also rejected BCCI's plea of a review of the verdict.
"It's been a really good couple of days off the field for us in terms of making sure James Anderson is available to play and the whole incident is now behind us. We can concentrate on playing cricket and we don't have to talk about it anymore, and we can get on with playing cricket," Cook said.
"The way both sides have played this series has been fantastic, apart from that one incident which has been blown up. I thought both sides have been very competitive and played it in the right way and in the right spirit," he added.
England will now look to build-on from their 266-run win in the third Test at Southampton, their first in 11 matches. With the series now tied at 1-1, Cook is banking on Anderson, who was the man of the match at Rose Bowl, to deliver the "killer punch".
"He is the best English bowler I have seen by quite considerable margins," Cook said about Anderson.
"He's not blessed with absolutely express pace so to be able to control that ball and find a method like in Australia in 2010 where it didn't swing that much but he took his wickets under 30, using that wobble ball. He has been outstanding and he has been backed up by Stuart Broad.
They have taken 500 wickets when they have played together and having those two bowling a lot of overs together has been great for this England side over the last few years."
Anderson bagged 7 wickets in the third Test even after the Jadeja incident was carrying on from the first Test at Trent Bridge and Cook is all praise for his pace spearhead.
"Actually in those last couple of Test matches, with this (incident) hanging over him, Anderson's bowled really well. I don't think it's really affected his performance on the field at all. It's great that this is now behind him. He gets to play in a home Test match, which I know is very special for every guy who gets to play in a home Test match. I think that's what the biggest concern was that he wouldn't get to play at Old Trafford
When particularly asked if Anderson will be asked to control his emotions on the field, Cook turned diplomatic.
"We know every time you pull on the shirt as an England player, or any international side, you are role models for anyone watching, we're all aware of that. But we also want to play competitive cricket, we don't want to be too nicey-nicey with everyone saying they're playing in the right spirit.
We want to play competitive cricket like these three games have been played and I don't think we need to change too much, said the English skipper.
"Of course there's little bits where he might have overstepped the mark throughout his career but you'd rather be on that line than too passive. He needs that for his bowling and the way he bowled, especially at Southampton, was incredible," he added.
England have added Steve Finn to their squad in place of the injured Liam Plunkett, but whether the think-tank will tinker with a winning combination remains to be seen. Cook though was non-committal on the playing XI.
"From when I last saw Finn in an England shirt, on that one-day tour, to what he's now delivering for Middlesex and when he briefly bowled at Lord's and here these last two days as well, it's just great for English cricket that he is getting back to his best. To add him into the pile of fast bowlers can only be a good thing, to add more competition.
He throws his name into selection but we played well last week and every member of that side as well. It's a tough call to make and whoever gets left out will be disappointed," said Cook.
Published Date: Aug 07, 2014 08:30 AM | Updated Date: Aug 07, 2014 08:36 AM