By Callum Dent
Alastair Cook always had faith in England turning around their fortunes during the Investec Test Series against India.
Having lost 1-0 to Sri Lanka earlier in the summer, things got worse for England when they slipped to a comprehensive defeat to India at Lord’s in the second match of this series.
But they responded emphatically by dominating the tourists and convincingly winning three successive Tests at the Ageas Bowl, Emirates Old Trafford and the Kia Oval.
A jubilant Cook told ecb.co.uk: “A five-match series gives you a chance to always come back. I had full faith in our ability, it was about stringing performances together.
“The guys have done that now. I don’t think we have lost a session since then (Lord’s). We possibly lost yesterday afternoon, when we lost four wickets, which was slightly disappointing.
“But apart from that we have been fantastic. Credit to every single guy and the coaching staff, (Peter) Mooresy and Paul Farbrace; they have been immense behind the scenes. It means a lot to us.
“It is the start of a recovery. There are going to be a number of tough times ahead, but we have experienced a lot of tough times. Through that becomes the good times.
“Just because we won this series doesn’t mean everything is all rosy. But it is a start. We keep re-emphasising that as a team.”
England sealed a 3-1 success in the rubber with a crushing innings-and-244-run victory here inside three days.
Starting the third day of the fifth and final match 237 runs ahead, the hosts stamped their authority with a stunning onslaught with the bat.
They added 101 runs in just 11.3 overs this morning, with Joe Root finishing unbeaten with 149 of his side’s first-innings 486.
The bowlers then continued where they left off in the first innings, taking advantage of the India batsmen's weaknesses and skittling them for just 94 inside 30 overs.
On today’s events, Cook said: “You couldn’t have written it. To score 110 in the first hour and then bowl India out for under a 100 is an amazing achievement and one we cannot take lightly at all.
“We worked incredibly hard to turn it around and we have played some really good cricket over the last three games.
“Hopefully this side is the start of a recovery and we can continue doing it.
— Investec Cricket (@InvestecCricket) August 17, 2014
“When you haven’t won a series for a while and haven’t won too many Test matches for a while, you have to enjoy them.
“It is just the start. We will keep our feet on the ground.”
England’s pacemen set the tone for the win by dismissing India for just 148 on day one.
New-ball bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad shone before first-change operators Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan backed up their team-mates superbly.
They replicated their first-innings display today, Jordan the pick with 4-18.
Cook was quick to pay tribute to the pace quartet, especially the devastating partnership of Anderson and Broad.
He added: “They were fantastic. They are world-class bowlers. They were backed up today, and actually the last couple of games, by CJ and Woakesy.
“To leave cricketers out like (Ben) Stokesy and Liam Plunkett is really good for us as a side. We will enjoy tonight.”