LONDON, (Reuters) – England captain Alastair Cook paid tribute to his team’s character after they crushed India by an innings and 244 runs in the fifth test yesterday to win the series 3-1. England fell 1-0 behind after losing the second test at Lord’s, their 10th successive test without a victory, before winning the next three matches by emphatic margins to complete a remarkable revival.
“It was an amazing turnaround after Lord’s, the players and the new coaching staff have made a lot of difference,” Cook said at the presentation ceremony.
“India crumbled at the end but that was from the relentless pressure. The first day at Southampton was good, Gary (Ballance) getting a big hundred and Ian Bell following on the next day.
“In both the next two games, we had one good innings and bowled very well. They’ll be very different conditions in West Indies but we can’t worry about that.
“We’re going to enjoy tonight, the support we get at all the grounds has been fantastic.”
Joe Root was named man of the match for his unbeaten 149 which helped England to a commanding first-innings lead of 338 runs at The Oval.
“Joe Root’s innings was brilliant,” Cook said.
“We knew that, with three days left, we had the opportunity to bat. It took the impetus away from India.
“We are on the road to recovery. We haven’t felt like this for a long time. We were laughing out there. You don’t get many days like that. We have to enjoy it and hope it’s the start of a long road back.
“The summer has been a collective effort. I can’t praise (coaches) Peter Moore and Paul Farbrace highly enough. They have come in and grabbed the environment. We have needed a kick up the backside and they have been brave enough to do that.”
After their crushing Ashes defeat in Australia, England lost the home series against Sri Lanka and many people were calling for Cook to quit the captaincy.