Alastair Cook hailed Ian Bell after the batsman returned to form to help England win the third Ashes Test against Australia.

The hosts saw off the visitors at Edgbaston in just three days, winning by eight wickets to take a 2-1 series lead. Bell was in brilliant form during the match, making half centuries in both innings and returning to form at a key time.

Prior to the Test there had been questions marks over the batsman's place, but Cook says the squad never doubted his talent.

"It couldn't be more fitting could it? For Belly to be walking out there at his home Test match with 60 not out to win a game," said Cook.

"There was a lot of nerves around this morning, I think probably because we got ourselves in a really good position with them 20 runs ahead and seven wickets down.

"You just wonder if the cricket gods have something in store for us. You can never know.

"The way he [Bell] played, we know he is a fine player. He has had a bit of a tough time but it happens. Everyone in history has a tough time. You have got to keep backing the right horse and Ian Bell is certainly the right horse. He is absolute class and it was a pleasure to watch him knock off those runs," he said.

The only disappointment in an otherwise brilliant three days for England was the injury to opening bowler James Anderson.

The 33-year-old suffered a side strain during the second innings and was forced to leave the field hurt.

He has now been ruled out of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, but Cook hopes that Mark Wood will return to fitness to potentially step in.

"Obviously Jimmy and Woody are quite like-for-like as they both swing it," he added. "

Mark didn't play this game as he had a bit of a niggle, hopefully his rehab is going well - it seems to be. He will be up for selection. I think the selectors have a meeting tomorrow to discuss replacements. Obviously it is disappointing; Jimmy's record at Trent Bridge is a brilliant record."