Calcutta: Former England captain Ian Botham was thrilled to see Alastair Cook’s team register a comfortable victory over India in Southampton, on Thursday.
For Botham, England’s capitulation at Lord’s was the worst he has ever seen and the victory at Ageas Bowl was one of the best he has ever witnessed.
“From what was one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen from an England team at Lord’s to one of the best in recent memory. The win at the Ageas Bowl was simply superb right from the off,” Botham wrote in his column for Mirror.
He further said that India were completely outplayed in every department of the game by England in the third Test. Botham feels that England should build on the 266-run win and go for a series victory. “You could call it a toss to tape win, because at no stage did India ever look like overtaking England in this match… On every day, in every session and in every department England were stronger than India and I expect to see them pull away further over the rest of the series,” he said.
Team game, the legendary all-rounder said, was key to England’s success. “What pleased me most about this win were the contributions from across the whole team. It wasn’t just the newer guys making their mark it was the senior men too.”
With the senior pros hitting some form in Southampton, Botham feels that it will help the team set the tone for the rest of the season. “Watching the likes of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell back in the runs and Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson back in the wickets was great to see and hopefully this will kick start the rest of the summer for them. They just went out there and played with real freedom and left all the baggage of the winter behind them.”
Botham explained that doing things in a simple manner helped England. “Sometimes players make a simple game look complicated, but throughout this Test, they just went out and played positively and with a smile on their faces.”