We spoke to Alastair Cook after England's magnificent win
By Rob Barnett
Alastair Cook struggled to comprehend the nine post-tea wickets on day three at Emirates Old Trafford that moved England ahead in the Investec Series.
Captain Cook pulled the strings in the field as India crumbled from 33 for one at the day’s second interval to 161 all out.
Moeen Ali claimed four scalps and added a run-out as the hosts romped to victory by an innings and 54 runs to go 2-1 up with a game to play.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Cook reflected on “an unbelievable day”.
“You never expect to take nine wickets in a session,” he said.
Joe Root and Jos Buttler earlier shared 134, making 77 and 70 respectively, to set up a commanding first-innings lead of 215.
“Rooty and Jos got us off to a really good start today. We wanted a lead of 150, 160, pushing 200 if we could with those last wickets and they got there,” Cook added.
“And we bowled really well. It’s not much to say. We put them under pressure. They attacked Moeen, and Moeen responded with some wickets and we got on a roll and they couldn’t stop us.”
England’s decimation of India’s second innings was all the more impressive given they did it without Stuart Broad, while James Anderson returned 2-18 in nine overs despite feeling unwell.
Broad suffered a fractured nose when he top-edged a Varun Aaron bouncer into the gap between the peak and grille on his helmet.
He was immediately forced to retire hurt and, rather than taking the field for India’s second innings, went for an x-ray. The England medical team expect Broad to be fit for next week’s Kia Oval Test.
Cook said: “Hopefully he’ll be okay – and Jimmy has been really unwell these last couple of days. So that was an outstanding effort from Jimmy.”
Broad was named man of the match for his first-innnings 6-25, although he was not at the ground to collect the award.
“Six for 20 in the first innings; him and Jimmy were just fantastic in the first hour (of the game),” Cook said.
“In good conditions to bowl they were outstanding, unbelievably good.”
Amazing win that!! Watched the last 8 wickets in a hospital! 2-1 One to go come on boys!
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) August 9, 2014
Cook also cited the role played today by England’s other bowlers as Moeen, Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes all contributed.
“And then all the other lads put their hands up. They bowled really well,” Cook continued.
“Towards the end when they were attacking, with really attacking fields, their figures don’t really demonstrate that, but they bowled well and it was a great effort by the lads.”
Victory in Manchester continues an impressive turnaround in the rubber, following England's series-squaring success at the Ageas Bowl.
As well as the young bowlers’ efforts, today’s seventies from Root and Buttler, both aged 23, reflected the impressive emergence of youth in Cook’s team.
“As a side when we hadn’t won for a while, to win two in two weeks, for the young guys especially, they’re learning, they’re learning fast and turning themselves into outstanding cricketers,” Cook said.
“The challenge for us now will be how we respond to two outstanding performances and how we can do it again. We want to win 3-1.”