England skipper Alastair Cook has every reason to smile after a crushing win over India inside three days at Old Trafford, Manchester. Cook's team now leads the five-match Test series 2-1 and the England captain was all praise for Moeen Ali and James Anderson, the two bowlers who led the Indian second innings collapse on Day 3.
England registered a thumping victory over India in the fourth Test with off-spinner Ali again ripping through the Indian batting order in the second innings, just like the last match in Southampton.
Despite being one bowler short in the second innings because of Stuart Broad's facial injury, England bundled India to a mere 161 to register an innings and 54-run victory, with nine wickets coming in the final session of the third day.
"You don't often get nine wickets in one session," Cook said. "At Tea, we planned to get them six down at stumps. It was a question of sticking it out as a team because we were one bowler short when we came out. And then we got on a roll straight after and picked up those wickets.
"We were looking at bowling with three bowlers only. It was a great effort from Jimmy (Anderson). It was a matter of building the pressure and we thought it would be a good job if we didn't have to see Stuart Broad again tonight."
Moeen was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts and dismissed four batsmen - Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja - in the second innings. He has been a revelation in the series for England and seems to have filled the void left by the departure of Graeme Swann.
Earlier termed as a 'part-time spinner', the Worcestershire player has taken 19 wickets in the series so far. Cook insisted that Moeen's hard work is paying off and he has improved rapidly.
"It must have been part of their game to attack Moeen," Cook insisted. "Moeen has improved rapidly so much that I haven't seen an improvement like that in such a short time. He is an uncanny operator. When there has been spin in the wicket he has bowled well.
"I had thought he was going to do a part-time role but he's improved at a huge rate and he had worked hard in the nets with Ian Bell."
Meanwhile, England pacer Broad suffered a nasty bouncer from Varun Aaron that went through his helmet and hit his nose. Broad was forced to retire and was later taken to hospital, where a fracture was detected.
The seamer couldn't bowl in the second innings, but a spokesperson of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) informed that he will be available for the fifth Test at the Oval.
"X-rays have confirmed a fractured nose," the spokesperson informed. "He will be treated over the course of the week and the medical team anticipates he will be available for the fifth Test."