Third Test: Alastair Cook claims watching the final day wasn't enjoyable
Last Updated: 26/03/13 11:28am
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England captain Alastair Cook admitted it was an uncomfortable experience watching his side salvage a dramatic draw against New Zealand in Auckland.
Matt Prior led the rear-guard action with an unbeaten 110, while Ian Bell weighed in with 75 and Stuart Broad and Monty Panesar provided timely cameos as England reached 315-9 at the close.
It had been an action-packed day at Eden Park, with missed chances, overturned decisions and a bizarre incident where the bails remained in place despite the ball hitting the stumps.
And Cook claimed the England dressing room wasn't the best place to be.
"A lot of nerves," he said. "I managed to watch pretty much all the day until the last 18 balls. You'd much rather be out in the middle than to be a hopeless spectator.
"Ian Bell started it off yesterday. He was there batting six hours. Then Matty Prior, that was a great hundred. We talked about someone being a hero and he took that mantle on."
The momentum of the game had swung constantly throughout, but the hosts thought they were closing in on the win when Kane Williamson removed Broad and then James Anderson in quick succession.
However Panesar and Prior were able to see England over the line.
"I've seen Monty in those situations before and I wouldn't want anyone else there," Cook added.
"He's done it twice now and he's got through twice. It's a 100% record."
Cook praised New Zealand, who came close to winning the first and third Test despite few given them a chance ahead of the series.
"I don't think they've surprised us. They've got some excellent young players," said Cook. "They had the best of the first match, we had the best of the second Test match and they've outplayed us here, but at no stage did we under-estimate them.
"We knew we were in for a tough battle. We didn't play as well as we could have done. Our skills with the ball and first innings batting have been below par. It's a cause for concern."