England coach Peter Moores is impressed with the way Alastair Cook led his team out of a lengthy slump and praised his battle-hardened skipper’s resilience.
“He’s one of those characters who, the more criticism he gets, the more determined he becomes,” Moores told reporters. “He just gets steelier. He would openly admit that he’s had a really tough ride. But that often can forge somebody into something special,” he added.
After England lost at Lord’s, more than a couple of weeks ago, Cook had presided over a run of 10 Tests without a win, including seven defeats.
Cook had then admitted his position as England captain was under pressure.
“The significant point came when he made it clear he was in it for the long haul. He made it clear he wanted to do the job. If other people didn’t want him, then fine, he’d move on, but he made public his desire to captain England. He just said that he was going to give it everything he’s got and he still has the same approach now.”
Quite a few former England captains called on him to resign and some even went as far as to suggest the opener take a break from the game after a run of low scores.
Two half-centuries, including a first-innings 95 where he was dropped on 15, however saw Cook return to form in the third Test at Southampton, which England won by 266 runs.
Their confidence restored, England then thrashed India by an innings and 54 runs inside three days to win the fourth Test at Old Trafford, thereby taking a 2-1 lead ahead of next week’s final match at The Oval.
“He is developing quickly as a captain tactically and has great values to lead with from example,” Moores, in his second spell as England coach, said of his skipper.
India lost nine second-innings wickets after tea on Saturday, and that too in the absence of England pacer Stuart Broad. Broad was off the field after suffering a broken nose while batting.
“We have now played pretty consistently all the way through the last Test and pretty much all the way through this one.
“We had seen a lot of the younger players do well, but the fact that the senior players have really performed well over the last couple of games has really added something to us.”
Moores added: “We have won two Tests but we have got to be pretty careful we don’t get carried away.”