Birmingham: England captain Andrew Strauss was a proud man on Saturday after his team reached the zenith of Test cricket and termed it a "result of playing consistent cricket for a considerable period of time."

"It was a difficult thing to attain and it fills us with a lot of pride. It was a reward for playing consistent cricket for a considerable period of time. We didn't rest on laurels and was a hard graft on our way to top," an emotional Strauss said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The seeds of a champion team were sown back in 2009 during their Ashes victory, felt Strauss.

"It was after regaining Ashes in 2009, we felt that we can be the No. 1 team. We have a world class bowling unit. And the fact that Graeme Swann came in made a massive impact. Also the fact that we don't depend on one or two individuals make it more special," Strauss said.

About opting to field, Strauss admitted that it was a "massive gamble" that paid off.

"The idea was to make use of whatever that was there in the wicket. Our bowlers applied relentless pressure."

On personal front he was happy to be back among runs and also lauded Alastair Cook for his monumental 294.

"It feels nice as a leader to contribute and then relax in a comfy sofa and watch Cooky (Alastair Cook) bat for two days. He has shown amazing powers of concentration and determination. He is one player who is clear about his game," Strauss lavished praise on his opening partner.

Cook on his part felt that a week's break after the first two Test matches helped him get back into the groove.

"The work put in over the week off has paid dividends for me. Over the last 12 months, scoring big hundreds was what I needed to work on and I'm glad that's happened."

He attributed the attacking flair of the middle-order batsmen in his team which helps him to play his natural game.

"You want the attacking middle order players to go at the tiring bowlers later in the day. I'm very pleased but it's a huge team effort to bowl a team like that out for less than 250 on a flat wicket in both innings."

(Agencies)