|Moeen Ali celebrates the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja with teammates, on Saturday
Calcutta: England captain Alastair Cook gave credit to his bowlers after his side wrapped up victory over India within three days in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
The hosts took nine wickets after tea on Day III — including four for 39 by Moeen Ali — as India collapsed for 161 to lose by an innings and 54 runs.
The part-time off-spinner’s devastating spell added to the damage done by Man-of-the-Match Stuart Broad and James Anderson in India’s first innings.
“We knew we needed a big effort from our bowlers for three hours today (without Broad)… Moeen was fantastic and everything went according to plan. I’ve never seen a bloke work so hard and make such a big improvement in such a short span of time. He’s really learnt how to bowl in international cricket,” Cook said during the presentation.
“We really can’t ask for more… You don’t often get nine wickets in a session… A lot of noise was there when we got towards the end… There was a great buzz out there in the middle… Three days were simply fantastic for us… We did have the weather in mind.”
Cook has no doubt it was his bowling line-up which made the difference as they took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series — even more so with Anderson battling sickness and Broad unable to return to the pitch for India’s second innings after being hit in the face by a delivery from Varun Aaron which left him with a suspected broken nose.
“We didn’t think we’d get it done today, we thought we’d get enough cricket over the next few days,” Cook said.
“But it’s great to do it with nine wickets in a session.
“Jimmy hasn’t been very well so it’s great of him to get off the bed and bowl like that for his nine overs.
“Jimmy and Broad are a brilliant pair. To bowl India out for 152 was a great achievement. It was outstanding bowling on the first morning and that really got us ahead in the game. I think this was something we missed at Lord’s.
“I’m very lucky to captain them. In all conditions they’ve learned how to bowl and they’re really good with the younger guys as well.
“Hopefully we can keep them fit for a few more years. The squad will enjoy tonight and a bonus couple of days off and rest up well before going to The Oval.”
Cook is keeping his fingers crossed on Broad. “He’s got a bit of a sore nose. It was a really nasty blow, I think he’s broken his nose.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed that there’s no cheek bone fracture and hopefully he’ll be all right. We wish him well and hope he hasn’t ruined his good looks.”