England skipper Alastair Cook expressed his surprise in the manner his side were able to overturn the Lord’s result and then win three consecutive Tests to steamroll India en route their 3-1 series win.
India lost the fifth and final Test at the Oval by an innings and 244 runs, succumbing in less than three days.
“I remember saying, when we were 1-0 down, that I still thought we were going to win the series. I had a lot of confidence in the talent and amount of skill we had in the dressing-room. I didn’t think we’d win quite so emphatically, as we have done,” said Cook after the match.
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“Southampton was clearly a turning point for us, to finally get the win. Suddenly after that first day (there), there was a bit of confidence back in us as a side. Once we won there, and enjoyed that night, that was the route of how we wanted to play our cricket against these guys,” he added.
India have been consistently under pressure from James Anderson and Stuart Broad throughout the series, and it didn’t help that they lost wickets regularly to their second line of attack in Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali as well.
“We have to give credit to the five bowlers for the way they’ve bowled because with sustained periods of pressure, we haven’t let them get away from us. That’s very hard to bat against” said Cook.
“They didn’t get more than 150 in four innings, and all our batters scored runs, so it’s almost like the perfect games. It’s tough cricket and it tests you in different conditions.
“They’re very fine players. They’ve had a very tough series against a very good bowling attack. Like we all do, they’ll look at their games and see where they can improve in these conditions. They’ve got fine records as cricketers, so there’s no reason why they won’t bounce back,” the skipper said.
Cook feels that there is no easy way out of this trouble in overseas conditions for India.
“But no one has an easy ride in cricket. As a batter, you have these tough moments – and it’s how you come through them that defines you as a player,” he added.
Cook himself has been at the centre of this turn-around as he got over his lean patch in Southampton and then turned around the fortunes for his side as well.
“I’m quite stubborn. I believe in my ability, and I’m quite a resilient guy and that was when I needed it most. I’m glad I stuck through the tough times. That’s what sport does – tests your character – and to bounce back as a team is a testament to us.
“I’m here because I believe that I am the right man to try to lead this team forward. I’m very, very privileged to be England captain. It’s a great job to have even through the tough times,” Cook said.
When asked if this was his greatest achievement as Test skipper, Cook replied,”I still think winning away in India was an amazing achievement. So I’m going to rank that one higher, in my eyes. But that still shouldn’t take away from the way we’ve played these last three games. English cricket needed a series win, and to deliver it like we have we have a big smile on our face.”
England now have earned a couple extra days of rest before they reconvene next weekend as the five-match ODI series kicks off in Bristol on September 25.
“I haven’t sat down with the selectors or anything. We’ve got a World Cup in seven months’ time. We put these whites away, and focus on trying to win that World Cup – in conditions quite similar to here – and we’ve got to start that building process pretty much tomorrow morning,” he signed off.