Cook: We’ve proved our Ashes pedigree in opener

England's Jos Buttler (left) and Adam Lyth (right) celebrate victory in the First Investec Ashes Test.
England's Jos Buttler (left) and Adam Lyth (right) celebrate victory in the First Investec Ashes Test.
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Alastair Cook believes his fresh-faced England side have proved their Ashes pedigree after seeing off Australia in four days in the first Investec Test.

The hosts turned in a consummate performance in the field to dismiss their rivals for 242 in Cardiff, kicking off the series with a 169-run win.

The swagger and confidence Cook’s side showed as they got the job done a day ahead of schedule was a far cry from the 2013/14 whitewash, when Andy Flower’s England crashed and burned in spectacular style.

That series was a near constant theme of conversation ahead of this match, but Cook thinks it can now be firmly filed away in the history books.

“It’s really important for this group of players to show that we can compete with Australia,” he said.

“I remember sitting here before the Test match and everyone was talking about what happened in the previous series. I was getting a little bit frustrated because there’s nothing we can do about that, but as a group of players to start this series well was important.

“It shows that if we do the basics well and play with the right kind of attitude we can put Australia under pressure.

“It’s not going to work every time, and I’m sure the Australians will bounce back at certain times but if we can go out there are show off our talent then we’re a dangerous side.

England’s victorious XI contained four players making their Ashes debuts – Adam Lyth, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Mark Wood – and two more in Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes who had never before beaten Australia.

But this did not feel like an underdog victory.

At times, not least when Stuart Broad was channelling his match-winning best in the afternoon session, it seemed little more than an inevitability.

The crowd once again roared their approval as the wickets tumbled, and 115-cap veteran Cook could not help getting caught up in the moment himself.

“So far this summer there has been a really good feel-good factor about England cricket,” he said.

“It really seems to have galvanized the support for this team. I cannot fault the signing in the stands and just when we needed a little lift ‘Delilah’ came out, or whatever. It was real privilege to play out there.”

Man-of-the-match honours went to Joe Root.

The effervescent Yorkshireman began the Test by being dropped on nought by Brad Haddin and ended it with scores of 134 and 60, two second innings wickets and the match-winning catch to dismiss Josh Hazlewood.

The vice-captain said after his first-innings ton that he could not judge its significance until the match was over, but was more than happy to do so once the result was in the bag.

“I think it was my most important hundred,” he said.

“It’s great to get that win and hopefully we can now back it up in the next game at Lord’s.

“I’m just really thrilled to be a part of this win. They guys have played well all week and as a team I thought we performed exceptionally well.

“First up in an Ashes series you want to make sure you put a marker down and we really wanted to get off to a good start.

“But we weren’t surprised by it at all. We know we’re capable of beating Australia because we’ve got talented players.”

Meanwhile, England have retained the same 13-man squad for the second Investec Test against Australia at Lord’s.

The victorious XI will be joined again by Steven Finn and Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid as extra bowling options for the second match of five, which begins on Thursday.