India in England 2014 August 10, 2014

Cook 'just gets steelier' - Moores

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Peter Moores, the England coach, has praised the resilience and determination of Alastair Cook following England's three-day victory over India in the fourth Investec Test at Old Trafford.

When England lost the Lord's Test, little more than a couple of weeks ago, it meant they had lost seven Tests in nine and were without victory in almost a year. Cook admitted his position as England captain was under pressure unless he could turn around his own form and the results of the team before the end of the series.

Now, successive victories later, that pressure has eased. While some concerns over Cook's batting form linger, the improved performances from the rest of the team have revived hopes that England's new era is heading in the right direction.

But, even during those challenging days after Lord's, Cook never lost his appetite for the job. Indeed, according to Moores, the experience brought the best out of him.

"He's one of those characters who, the more criticism he gets, the more determined he becomes," Moores said. "He just gets steelier. He would openly admit that he's had a really tough ride. But that often can forge somebody into something special.

"The significant point came when he made it clear he was in it for the long haul. He made it clear he wanted to do the job. If other people didn't want him, then fine, he'd move on, but he made public his desire to captain England. He just said that he was going to give it everything he's got and he still has the same approach now.

"Everybody knows it is a very pressurised job. You're dictated by results. But you need to know that somebody is up for the challenge. You've got to have a belief in them as a person that, as captain, they can take people forward. Leadership is about getting people to follow you and creating opportunities for them. Cooky is very much into that. Deep down, he is a real carer as a bloke."

Moores also praised elements of Cook's captaincy that might not be seen by the media or spectators. Insisting that the creation of a positive dressing room environment was at least as important as on-field tactics, Moores reiterated his commitment to Cook as captain and suggested he was improving in all facets of leadership.

"If you have players who are confident to play, it is probably more important than whether you have three slips or four," Moores said. "If you have a guy running in hard for you in his third spell and he's tired and he's working for you and for the team, that is more important than a field position being five yards out. There will always be in cricket three decisions you can make at one time, but what you want is a team out there playing hard.

"Alastair is developing quickly as captain. He has great values to lead with, so that's always a great start. It is difficult to ask somebody else to do something you wouldn't do yourself and there is nothing Alastair wouldn't do, for England or for the team. So that's a good place to start. But tactically he is also developing quickly.

"He is in a great position because he is relatively young to have played so many Test matches and to have such a great record. He has a desire to lead. It doesn't mean you would question yourself - everyone questions themselves all the time, humility is the sign of a good leader - but for me you're trying to build relationships and keep everyone in the group settled. There will be some changes but hopefully the leader is one you don't want to change too often."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SoyQuearns on August 12, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith - Cook will score more runs, but it's not all about HOW MANY runs.

    Both have scored more than Bradman, by your logic, thus, they are both better?

    Ridiculous point.

    And our most recent away series in Australia - how did that end?

    You cling to things that are long past, including the notion that Cook is any more than a good player some of the time.

    And - hiding in the middle order? Seriously? So anyone that is not an opening batsman is hiding are they?

    Was Steve Waugh hiding down the order? Was Allan Border? Was AB de Villiers for all those years? Mahela Jayawardena? Mike Hussey? That's just an unhealthy viewpoint and total nonsense.

    Openers, top order, middle order - they all require equal yet differing skills and hold equal importance to any campaign.

    That's like saying Muralitharan isn't as good as Curtly Ambrose because he bowls slow & Curly bowls fast. They are not right/wrong, just different roles.

    Clinging to the past does no favour.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 12, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @soyqearns… kp has been on an ever increasing downward spiral since India.. it's quite apparent by his plummeting average vs increasing age, plus a test career threatening knee injury if you remember… he has done nothing of note since, apart from lead his ipl mob in last and clock up thousands of air miles… He may even at last play a FC game this season… sometime next month I believe, and so we will all be able to see how he goes then… You commented before about clarke being a great of the game and cook not…. stats guru will tell you that cook already has more test runs than clarke and Cook is 4 yrs younger than clarke and so Cook will no doubt go way past clarke's final tally… And that as an opener, not hiding in the middle order… Cook also has recently won a series in India away as Capt, unlike clarke who recently lost 4-0 amidst 'homework-gate' and at a quick glance Cook prob has more ashes winners medals…

  • neil99 on August 12, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Cook is still not the man to lead the team. Great batsman yes, great captain certainly not. England played well, but were also very fortunate that India folded like the proverbial deck of cards, which was not due to Cooks sparkling and charismatic leadership. As soon as there's stiffer opposition we'll be back the one dimensional Cook, who is incapable of plan B. The worst of it is our ears are now ringing smug "I told you so" from Moores et al, despite winning just 2 out of 12 tests and ban even worse record in one dayers.

  • SoyQuearns on August 12, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - yeah, solid points, that he was a newcomer, and also a Hampshire lad, could possibly have either left his thoughts ill-informed (insofar as seeing the long, drawn out picture are concerned), or slightly biased.

    He wasn't at his best for some time, this much is also true.

    I guess at the heart of it I'm just sad that he was so good for and to us for so long and then it all came crashing down in a heap.

    That two massive fans of the game (you and I) can only but hypothesise on the state of play only furthers my disappointment in the whole sorry mess. We should get answers, we deserve at least that much surely!

    On a side note (ha, well, more like back to the point of the article) - I'm pleased with England's wins in the last 2 tests, however am not drawing any long-term viewpoints from them.

    That said - the best part is that, aside from our back-up bowlers (who just don't look right at this level), our newcomers have stood tall, taller even than some of the experienced.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @SoyQuearns on (August 12, 2014, 4:16 GMT), I'd be inclined to take what Carberry had to say with a grain of salt, given that he too was disgruntled at the time. Maybe he's the only one who'd be honest for that reason, or maybe he had an axe to grind. Maybe he didn't have the full picture, given that he was a relatively new addition to the squad and hadn't experienced what went before. I just don't believe that the ECB would get rid him if he was the perfect team man that Carberry paints him to be after the efforts they made to accommodate him. Maybe it was that they were prepared to put up with his shenanigans for some time because, as you say, he was their best batsman but his returns had not been all that stellar for a while.

  • _-Will-_ on August 12, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    After Lords, Dhoni was hailed a tactical genius - an absolute fallacy given what transpired in away tests for 3+ years before and two matches since.

    For the sake of Cook, those around him should try to keep it real.

    He's making progress and showing courage - much more than can be said for many others who have not experienced, or refused to acknowledge, even a fraction of the criticism and pressure Cook has. Allow him time to heal completely and let nature then dictate his role in the team. He is way too good a player and person to be treated otherwise.

  • SoyQuearns on August 12, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - I mean it depends on where you are sourcing your info. Michael Carberry basically ruled himself out of contention for Eng (ever again) by going on official record & saying that, far from a nuisance in Australia, KP was extremely helpful in providing assistance, advice & generally showing support.

    From what I can gather, the majority of this boils down to the fact KP aired some concerns about Andy Flower, in a team meeting designed to be 'for players ears only' (of which his thoughts & opinions were leaked immediately), & then from that point he was ostracised & made an example of to ward off any other players thinking about having an opinion that differed from 'the desired outcomes' (i.e. compliant, obedient & submissive).

    You make a fair point that there must be a 'triggerpoint' after the elongated process of reintegration, however Carberry seems to be the best gauge of this.

    Furthermore - he's our best Batsman since Gooch. IMO that's a 'nuff said' situation.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    @SoyQuearns on (August 11, 2014, 23:48 GMT), you say that KP didn't justify an end in the first place but you don't know that. Loads of people are claiming that the ECB have made KP a scapegoat for the Ashes whitewash but I don't think that's the case at all. The ECB didn't have to wait for that Ashes loss to use as an excuse to get rid of KP if that's what they wanted. They'd already got rid of him after the SA series and text-gate. Why would they reintegrate him after that if they were only going to get rid of him without justification later? I don't know any more than you do about what happened but I can only assume that there was more poor behaviour from KP after reintegration or warrant his dismissal or they wouldn't have reintegrated him in the first place. We heard lots from Cook about wanting KP in the side for India after text-gate and Prior too, but not a word of support that I heard after the Ashes. That says something to me.

  • SoyQuearns on August 11, 2014, 23:48 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. We both want what is best for our English side.

    My major concern is that Eng pick the best behaved XI not the best XI. You can't use what KP has done SINCE he was dropped after scoring the most runs in the failed Ashes campaign, he'll take a while to get over that and the internal betrayal coupled with the public slinging matches initiated by the English board. And rightly so - he's been betrayed for being himself.

    Build em up and knock em down. Does any country in the world do it better than us?

    And you can't use team results to judge an individual player (unless they are captain). Anderson and Broad were in all of our 9 tests without a win, are you going to say antything about them then?

    It is also futile to use KP's t20 stats to strengthen or weaken his case for Test selection. Wildly different formats.

    It's not so much KP justifies a return, it is that he didn't justify an end in the first place!

  • itsthewayuplay on August 11, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Most rational India fans will tell you that England were always only an India series away from rediscovering winning ways. Moores rightly credits the efforts of the England players in turning things round but he should also recognise the ineptitude of the Indian cricket team and thank them for turning up. In 2011, India couldn't score more than 300 in an innings, this last test they couldn't reach 200. In 2014, it was in good batting conditions that contributions from the tail that got India safe in the 1st test and then helped post what turned out to be a winnng total for the 2nd. Let's see if the they can cross 200 in the last.

  • SoyQuearns on August 12, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith - Cook will score more runs, but it's not all about HOW MANY runs.

    Both have scored more than Bradman, by your logic, thus, they are both better?

    Ridiculous point.

    And our most recent away series in Australia - how did that end?

    You cling to things that are long past, including the notion that Cook is any more than a good player some of the time.

    And - hiding in the middle order? Seriously? So anyone that is not an opening batsman is hiding are they?

    Was Steve Waugh hiding down the order? Was Allan Border? Was AB de Villiers for all those years? Mahela Jayawardena? Mike Hussey? That's just an unhealthy viewpoint and total nonsense.

    Openers, top order, middle order - they all require equal yet differing skills and hold equal importance to any campaign.

    That's like saying Muralitharan isn't as good as Curtly Ambrose because he bowls slow & Curly bowls fast. They are not right/wrong, just different roles.

    Clinging to the past does no favour.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 12, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @soyqearns… kp has been on an ever increasing downward spiral since India.. it's quite apparent by his plummeting average vs increasing age, plus a test career threatening knee injury if you remember… he has done nothing of note since, apart from lead his ipl mob in last and clock up thousands of air miles… He may even at last play a FC game this season… sometime next month I believe, and so we will all be able to see how he goes then… You commented before about clarke being a great of the game and cook not…. stats guru will tell you that cook already has more test runs than clarke and Cook is 4 yrs younger than clarke and so Cook will no doubt go way past clarke's final tally… And that as an opener, not hiding in the middle order… Cook also has recently won a series in India away as Capt, unlike clarke who recently lost 4-0 amidst 'homework-gate' and at a quick glance Cook prob has more ashes winners medals…

  • neil99 on August 12, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Cook is still not the man to lead the team. Great batsman yes, great captain certainly not. England played well, but were also very fortunate that India folded like the proverbial deck of cards, which was not due to Cooks sparkling and charismatic leadership. As soon as there's stiffer opposition we'll be back the one dimensional Cook, who is incapable of plan B. The worst of it is our ears are now ringing smug "I told you so" from Moores et al, despite winning just 2 out of 12 tests and ban even worse record in one dayers.

  • SoyQuearns on August 12, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - yeah, solid points, that he was a newcomer, and also a Hampshire lad, could possibly have either left his thoughts ill-informed (insofar as seeing the long, drawn out picture are concerned), or slightly biased.

    He wasn't at his best for some time, this much is also true.

    I guess at the heart of it I'm just sad that he was so good for and to us for so long and then it all came crashing down in a heap.

    That two massive fans of the game (you and I) can only but hypothesise on the state of play only furthers my disappointment in the whole sorry mess. We should get answers, we deserve at least that much surely!

    On a side note (ha, well, more like back to the point of the article) - I'm pleased with England's wins in the last 2 tests, however am not drawing any long-term viewpoints from them.

    That said - the best part is that, aside from our back-up bowlers (who just don't look right at this level), our newcomers have stood tall, taller even than some of the experienced.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @SoyQuearns on (August 12, 2014, 4:16 GMT), I'd be inclined to take what Carberry had to say with a grain of salt, given that he too was disgruntled at the time. Maybe he's the only one who'd be honest for that reason, or maybe he had an axe to grind. Maybe he didn't have the full picture, given that he was a relatively new addition to the squad and hadn't experienced what went before. I just don't believe that the ECB would get rid him if he was the perfect team man that Carberry paints him to be after the efforts they made to accommodate him. Maybe it was that they were prepared to put up with his shenanigans for some time because, as you say, he was their best batsman but his returns had not been all that stellar for a while.

  • _-Will-_ on August 12, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    After Lords, Dhoni was hailed a tactical genius - an absolute fallacy given what transpired in away tests for 3+ years before and two matches since.

    For the sake of Cook, those around him should try to keep it real.

    He's making progress and showing courage - much more than can be said for many others who have not experienced, or refused to acknowledge, even a fraction of the criticism and pressure Cook has. Allow him time to heal completely and let nature then dictate his role in the team. He is way too good a player and person to be treated otherwise.

  • SoyQuearns on August 12, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - I mean it depends on where you are sourcing your info. Michael Carberry basically ruled himself out of contention for Eng (ever again) by going on official record & saying that, far from a nuisance in Australia, KP was extremely helpful in providing assistance, advice & generally showing support.

    From what I can gather, the majority of this boils down to the fact KP aired some concerns about Andy Flower, in a team meeting designed to be 'for players ears only' (of which his thoughts & opinions were leaked immediately), & then from that point he was ostracised & made an example of to ward off any other players thinking about having an opinion that differed from 'the desired outcomes' (i.e. compliant, obedient & submissive).

    You make a fair point that there must be a 'triggerpoint' after the elongated process of reintegration, however Carberry seems to be the best gauge of this.

    Furthermore - he's our best Batsman since Gooch. IMO that's a 'nuff said' situation.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    @SoyQuearns on (August 11, 2014, 23:48 GMT), you say that KP didn't justify an end in the first place but you don't know that. Loads of people are claiming that the ECB have made KP a scapegoat for the Ashes whitewash but I don't think that's the case at all. The ECB didn't have to wait for that Ashes loss to use as an excuse to get rid of KP if that's what they wanted. They'd already got rid of him after the SA series and text-gate. Why would they reintegrate him after that if they were only going to get rid of him without justification later? I don't know any more than you do about what happened but I can only assume that there was more poor behaviour from KP after reintegration or warrant his dismissal or they wouldn't have reintegrated him in the first place. We heard lots from Cook about wanting KP in the side for India after text-gate and Prior too, but not a word of support that I heard after the Ashes. That says something to me.

  • SoyQuearns on August 11, 2014, 23:48 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. We both want what is best for our English side.

    My major concern is that Eng pick the best behaved XI not the best XI. You can't use what KP has done SINCE he was dropped after scoring the most runs in the failed Ashes campaign, he'll take a while to get over that and the internal betrayal coupled with the public slinging matches initiated by the English board. And rightly so - he's been betrayed for being himself.

    Build em up and knock em down. Does any country in the world do it better than us?

    And you can't use team results to judge an individual player (unless they are captain). Anderson and Broad were in all of our 9 tests without a win, are you going to say antything about them then?

    It is also futile to use KP's t20 stats to strengthen or weaken his case for Test selection. Wildly different formats.

    It's not so much KP justifies a return, it is that he didn't justify an end in the first place!

  • itsthewayuplay on August 11, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Most rational India fans will tell you that England were always only an India series away from rediscovering winning ways. Moores rightly credits the efforts of the England players in turning things round but he should also recognise the ineptitude of the Indian cricket team and thank them for turning up. In 2011, India couldn't score more than 300 in an innings, this last test they couldn't reach 200. In 2014, it was in good batting conditions that contributions from the tail that got India safe in the 1st test and then helped post what turned out to be a winnng total for the 2nd. Let's see if the they can cross 200 in the last.

  • itsthewayuplay on August 11, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Don't know about Cook getting steelier but credit to England and Moeen Ali for their improved performances whilst India seem to be basking in the glory of the England batsmen literally throwing their wickets away in the first test. If England had kept their heads and ticked along at just over 2 an over they could well be 3-nil up and looking at another 4-0 beating of India. As it is, looks like they'll have to settle for 3-1. Too many similarities with (1) 2011 with England seamers making it look as if they're bowling on a separate strip to the Indians, batsmen running the Indian bowlers ragged and Indian tail showing more fight than the recognised batsmen (2) 2012 England going 1-0 down as a result of a inexplicable batting session and then coming back with their spinners outspinning, and the seamers outseaming, their Indian counterparts.

  • EdGreen on August 11, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    Rubbish - Cook (and Moores) have just finally been driven to learning something about captaincy - Cook was very fortunate that either plan A worked out of the box or some individual heroics saved the day in some of his early tests as captain - but from then to the second test against India this summer he was abysmal (and the managers/coaches share the blame)

    In the last two games there has been a marked increase in flexibility and imagination - good progress in Cook's captaincy - and on the basis of that he should lead the side into the winter - hopefully he will continue to develop and will flourish in the role.

  • Amarjitmadan on August 11, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    All credit to the English team well led by Cook, without taking a trace away from that in fact it is more of suicidal mistakes by Indian players mainly the top order batsmen and poorest amongst the poor slip fielding cordon. More than Cook or his players, due credit is also due to the Indian players by their counterparts for handing advantages on a platter probably as early Christmas gift. Batting first where first 90 odd minutes were very crucial with swing and bounce One can only feel sorry for the Coach and the Captain how misconceived their thoughts are that they fail to analyse each players' pluses and draw backs and just follow the premeditated approach.

  • Essexspur on August 11, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    We need Jordan and Woakes to find a bit of form so if Piers Morgan could kindly say they are useless and should be dropped they should come good. If he could also call for Pietersen to be returned to the team that should keep the team spirit high as well. Oh, and while you're at it Morgan, feel free to say Arsenal are brilliant and will win the quadruple. Although, Cook won't give a monkeys about Morgan, the sad little fame junkie, it would be great if his pathetic comments had inspired the team. Early days yet, but what a joy it is to see a winning England team and not have to listen to Pietersen pretending it's all about the team when we knew all along that it was all about him.

  • whatawicket on August 11, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    not sure if A C is a good skipper or not his past record during the ashes in oz was a very poor effort, but so called better skips have had bad experiences down under .

    M C the Australian skip is put forward as one to aspire to,but he was beaten 4 - 0 in India and could have been beat 4 - 1 in the uk. and believe it or not MSD was also put up there.

  • on August 11, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    What I've noticed with Moeen is how much action he gets on the ball. If the "rev-o-meter" Sky used is to be believed, and the number of balls that turn from the pitch that I see with my own eyes is any indicator. He turns it considerably more than either Jadeja or Ashwin. The meter regularly had Swann close to 2,200 RPM. Moeen is mostly in the high 2,100's whereas the Indian spinners are often under 2000. Turn off the pitch (ass opposed to he rough) is something that Moeen seems to get a lot more of as well. He still bowls a bad ball a little too often. Every 10th ball is a duffer and he needs to fix that, get it down to one in 20 say. No one is perfect - getting rid of them altogether is something no bowler has done ever. It would be nice if we had a guy who has bowled 500+ overs a season for 3-4 seasons as a specialist spinner to slot in who is also test class - but we don't. Not Kerrigan that's for sure. Moeen is far away England's best option for the short to mid term.

  • shane-oh on August 11, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    @Valavan - sorry, I had read so many comments that were virtually the same that I completely misread yours. My apologies for that.

    My point still stands in general, but not directed at you.

  • Seamer_Singh on August 11, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    This series has the feel of the 2011 series. After Zaheer was injured in the first match it all fell apart from then on for India. There is a similar storyline here with Ishant's injury and India's fragile mentality under pressure. There is a warning for Cook and co... don't take too much from this series as it may bite you back... just as it did to Strauss in 2012.

  • Charlie101 on August 11, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    @cricketmaan I would contend that India's bowlers have performed well . Aaron looked a real handful at Old Trafford and should have been selected at Southampton , Kumar has had a great series so far and Ishant won the test at Lords .

    The bowlers have not been supported at all and have been let down with lazy fielding and poor slip catching .

  • RayMcCooney on August 11, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    @Valavan: Aside from the fact that I agree with your assessment of England, you make an excellent point to @shane-oh about, if I may be so bold, misinterpreting a poster's standpoint based on the non-partisan nature of their posts, or simply their screen name. On too many occasions this appears to detract from the debate. CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH.

  • Valavan on August 11, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    @shane-oh, i am england supporter, read what i wrote. Eventhough i support england, i dont rate england a great team yet due to their inconsistency at times. cricinfo please publish.

  • dunger.bob on August 11, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    There's always the possibility that Moeen really IS a 5 wpm bowler I guess. If he is genuinely that good, I'll be worried about the next bout, no problems there. Even more so if you can get Finn back on his feet. He is a talent. .. I only wish Cummins could do that. He's our answer to Finn.

  • RayMcCooney on August 11, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    @dunger.bob: Your point on Ali is well made. However, when Swann started his "second coming" it came out of the blue and took everyone by surprise. I can't remember the initial press response, but around the counties the main question was, "how long can he keep it up?" It wasn't long before his performance became the norm, was the expectation every time he was thrown the ball, and the ragged lead up to it was forgotten. Fingers crossed for Ali, he's a great bloke and refreshingly, he just enjoys the game so much it's infectious.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 11, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    @dunger.bob, very much my own thoughts, that 3rd seamer is an issue, none of those tried so far this summer have really ticked boxes except Plunkett against SL. I hope that they give Finn a run out at the oval , either in place of Broad, or in place of Jordan/Woakes who needs to go and get wickets in the CC.

    I have strong reservations about Moeen, its as though indian batsmen have forgotten to account for spin, either that or they arnt reading the arm ball.

  • RayMcCooney on August 11, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    @dunger_bob: Much as it pains me, I find myself agreeing with you again. However, let's be honest it's not a yard-stick England need just now; they know they're underdone. It's not even the illusion of success from beating a team whose captain appears to have lost interest in leadership. What they need IMHO is to feel the rush of winning, and to learn HOW to win. For me, that was one of the biggest elements of the 2005 Ashes team's success, they knew how to win, and I believe we saw a glimpse of that from this England side in the Indian second innings at Old Trafford. However, I'm only glad that this England team isn't facing either Aus or RSA in its current developmental state because, although I believe it would put up a good fight, it would be ripped apart and set back at least a year in its progress. A combination of the approach and ability of the 2005 England Ashes squad and Mitchell Johnson's performance from the 2009 Ashes would suit me just fine next year.

  • Charlie101 on August 11, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    The Indian batsmen had a very strange attitude in their 2nd innings - Kohli trying to hit his way into form , Jadeja coming down the wicket to Anderson in T20 fashion and I do think heads should roll when they had an outside chance of saving a game. This England side is very much Cook's team as opposed to the team he inherited from Andrew Strauss and hopefully we will get better in time to take on and beat the Aussies . The team spirit will be better with a settled side ( no departures like Trott and Swann ) and who knows how Johnson will be bowling then !!!

  • dunger.bob on August 11, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    To be honest it's Dhoni who looks the more rigid and mechanical of the two captains. I've said this before but I don't think this series is a good yardstick for anything much. There's a definite upward curve for England. Not one but two wins in a row. However, either Moeen Ali is Jim Laker reincarnated or there's something seriously wrong with this Indian side. .. If Moeen wasn't taking so many wickets the onus would fall more heavily on the 3rd and 4th seamers and from what I've seen so far that could be a problem for England.

    Anyway, I guess the fact is that Ali is taking heaps of wickets and while ever he does that I'm just speculating. .. How long can he keep it though?

  • PeerieTrow on August 11, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    @Shankar Mony: How can you expect to be taken seriously if you can't get the basic facts correct? From the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY: Steely adj (steelier, steeliest) 1 like steel in colour, brightness or strength. 2 coldly determined.

  • CricketMaan on August 11, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    One win and media go GAGA about England. They must show they can compete wiht SA and Aus both home and away, for these 3 are the only nations that will play Test cricket 10 years from now. For India, test cricket is nearing its end, no surprise. Crowds dont queue up to watch, players play it coz they dont want to be seen evil in the eyes of media and world cricket. Dhoni will continue as captain as long as he quits, for Indian selectors never tinker and there is no next leader in queue. I feel sad for Dhoni as he has never had the resource to compete, its been either a decent batting line up or a decent bowling line up never the best together. For those comparing Aaron, Shami, Ishant and Bhuvi to Jimmy and Board, its absurd comparison. The latter are world class and proven, while the former are wannabe test players.

  • jmcilhinney on August 11, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    I've never questioned Cook's resolve but his methods have been an issue at times. It's quite likely that his recent lack of form with the bat will have affected his performance as captain. If that is the case then, even if his captaincy is not responsible for the last two wins, just the winning alone but also having scored a few will have boosted his confidence and hopefully allow him to captain more effectively. There's no doubt that, on the spectrum of captaincy, Cook falls on the defensive side and always will. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Some will say that he should have declared earlier in game against SL and England may have won that game. That's true but game 2 showed why he was wary of declaring too soon. I think that England as a whole just need to be prepared to change tack if something is clearly not working but also hold their nerve a bit better if the opposition are scoring a bit, i.e. the new tack isn't necessarily fewer catchers and men on the fence.

  • shane-oh on August 11, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    @Valavan - why is it so hard to give credit to the opposition for outplaying the team you support?

    I think what is happening here is that Moores is enjoying a little vindication coming his way. He's stuck by Cook, and the team have started delivering results.

    Personally, I'd be excited if I was an England fan right now. This young team has masses of potential, and along with proven performers such as Cook, Bell, Broad and Anderson in the team, I think they will mould into an extremely good team.

    All this rubbish about India being poor is exactly that - why do we always end up with pointless arguments about whether the winning team was good or the losing team poor? In the end, all that matters is that the winning team was better.

  • Valavan on August 11, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    @Thamizhan, India played badly or india had no clue against bowlers in this very test. Even though i still have questions about Captain Cook but have to credit him for these two tests. some one has to play badly so other should win. If you all credit johnson destroyed England, but not england played badly. same applies here, seamers destroyed India, can you agree on it. England have had its ups and downs, ECB issues and so on. i dont know if Cook became steelier but i know they have found a way to win games. winning under 3 days means how brittle indian batters in pacy wicket. cricinfo please publish.

  • Surajrises on August 11, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    It wasn't Cook's Brilliant Captaincy that has almost won England the series but India's poor batting, fielding, Dhoni's poor Captaincy & lack of good bowlers that has put England on the drivers seat. It is India who have saved Cook's Captaincy at least till the next Ashes series if not more! Well Australians wouldn't mind that and Clarke will be extremely happy at the moment because he must be thinking another Ashes trophy in the pocket easily. If Cook remains the Captain which he will for sometime, England will lose to Australia for sure if not SA because Amla has also proved himself as a somewhat defensive Captain. Indian fans might be hoping for a turnaround at the Oval but the fact is we need Ishant Sharma back in that line up if there has to be some impact with the bowling because Bhuvi & Aaron alone can't pick 10 wickets. If Ashwin plays, he needs to be given a longer spell which Dhoni isn't ready to do!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 11, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @Lin Comp, to be honest the 3rd man isn't a usual field placing in most modern teams, as you have 3/4 slips and Gully, if a fielder is there to stop runs, then its a defensive measure and he would be criticised for being negative.

    In regards to the hook, it actually looked like the ball arrived quicker than he though, so he wasn't able to get on top of it. it was there to be hit, and that's what he tried to do.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 11, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    @SoyQuearns, in regards to KP, please tell me how KP justifies a return to the test squad? There are some fans that need to get it out of their head that KP is the second coming. Without KP we've won 2 tests out of 6, last summer we won 4 our of 7, if all goes well at the oval (and its not a sure thing) we might win 3 out of 7, without KP and a 'bunch of kids' with very little experience.

    If KP really wanted to get back into the side wouldn't he be stating the case in the CC for Surrey by scoring a shed load of runs? He isn't even scoring runs in the T20 blast, 12 innings, 2 NO's, 212 runs @ 23, Compare that to JJ Roy, 14 innings, 619 runs @ 47.

    In the end KP isn't sorely missed and hes definitely not irreplaceable.

  • on August 11, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    Moores just wait and see when Plan A isn't working again and you will see the exact same clueless Cook standing at slip rubbing his chin. Yes Anderson and Broad both bowled well to get them 4-8 etc , but let's face it India were worse than what England were in Ashes recently and that's saying a lot.

  • on August 11, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    Huh? It is Alastair Cook who is being talked about, and he hasn't gotten 'steelier'. To an extent he can be called stubborn, but not steely. He was never steely, he wasn't steely for a minute on any day during this test series, and he will never become steely. Saying Cook is steely is like saying Misbah is the most aggressive batsman in the Pakistan side. Yes. It is THAT odd to describe Cook as steely! Winning solves everything. It is as simple as that.

  • landl47 on August 11, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    I was very critical of Cook's captaincy against Sri Lanka and in the first two tests of this series. However, for those who haven't got blinkers on, it's been obvious in the last two tests that he has looked at what was wrong and is making efforts to improve. His field-placings have been better, his use of his bowlers has been more effective and his approach has become less predictable.

    In cricket the main responsibility of a captain is to get the players to play to the best of their ability. That means trying their hardest all the time. The young players have done that all Summer and it's been notable how much most of them have improved (the exception is Sam Robson, who is too desperate to succeed and having no fun). England is not yet a top side, but in a couple of years it will be. Hopefully Cook will be there to see it.

  • on August 11, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    england won very well because india played very badly this is the only thing they should feel happy about ,england has got more tough tasks ahead in coming days with better teams who don't play badly.India should come strongly in next match forgetting the anderson issue and icc's verdict and concentrate on game

  • on August 11, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Please do not consider the success against India as a resurgance of England team or success of Cook. India is never a competitive team outside India and even West Indies will fight more than India in overseas conditions. So the exact progress of England can be measured only when they play against good teams like South Africa and Australia.

  • Aspraso on August 11, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Win the Ashes back and then let's determine (judge) if England has progressed !

  • MaruthuDelft on August 11, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Indians don't fight enough. That is why a quarter of the population with vastly varying cultures live together in India. But the flip side is if you don't know enough about fighting you can't win in cricket and Olympics.

  • Sexysteven on August 11, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    Sure cooks batting is steeling but if morose and cooks teammates think cooks captaincy is steely then they are deluded and have a false impression cos they have won 2test talking about getting carried but that England for they think they are world beaters after acouple of decent wins but this time next they will be brought down to earth again by the Aussies while Cook is captain they won't win another ashes series I truly believe that cos the Aussies will be aggressive from ball one and it will only take Cook afew overs to put men on the boundary as he always does for that reason Cook can't be captain if England want to win the ashes the Aussies will embarrass Cook as a captain next year that's asure bet

  • on August 11, 2014, 2:26 GMT

    I also agree with many others in this forum that cook's captaincy is not that great in this series. He is now leading 2-1 but that does not tell the whole story, he could have done much better than this. Look at the way he threw away his wicket in this test, it was such a crucial time of this test and what was expected from him was just to play a grinding innings and stay there as long as possible and give a solid foundation but he tried to hook or pull (an aerial shot) when there was a fielder in the leg side area and it was a reckless shot and not expected from a captain at that moment of the game. He could improve with his fielding placements too - giving so many free runs in the 3rd man area could have been prevented. He could have asked his bowlers to bowl less short pitched deliveries rather insist on bowling more full and a tighter line on or just around the off stump. So on & so forth - cook can do much better than what he already did in this series so far.

  • Sol09 on August 11, 2014, 0:47 GMT

    India started well and ended woeful. England started woeful and ended well. It's wise not to read too much into all this; it is not the start or end of any era. It's just cricket - a microcosm of life itself.

  • SoyQuearns on August 11, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    And to those who try pretend KP isn't missed - we've won 2 tests out of a LOT. Latest and fullest, sure, but India are one of the worst Test sides away from home & this must be factored into account if we are to play & speak in reasoned terms.

    Ali is horrible against the short ball, Cook returned to his old ways this test (out for less than 20), Robson is stale, dour & has a defect on off-stump (which, for an opener, is ultra-concerning), Bell rarely goes past 50s (his recent 100 an exception, not a rule).

    Ballance has been wonderful for us. Buttler has injected some personality into the team (which is a dangerous game to play as our selectors love boring & 'samey' types of yes-men).

    Woakes & Jordan are not test players and we still don't have a proper spin option. Mark my words - Ali's returns will flatten out, he gets half his wickets off volleys or long-hops (which in itself says a lot of India's turmoil, but that's another matter).

    KP is irreplaceable & sorely missed.

  • SoyQuearns on August 11, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    Peter Moores joins the 'gun-jumping' queue of people who desperately want Cook to be something he will never be.

    He's stubborn, sure, but he's not 'steely' and never has been. I watched the entire 3rd day & it must be said India lost it more than England won it.

    Stale field settings, obscure bowling changes & drear tactics from MSD, coupled with just purely insane batting, served this up to England.

    Chris Jordan patched his horrendous career stats, despite going near run-a-ball amidst a titanic collapse, & showed that he is not test standard.

    Woakes is a trundler.

    Ali, who has performed wonderfully this series with the ball, is hopeless against the short ball and also will see his bowling returns flatten out substantially over the course of time (his levels of success with ball will actually hurt him in the long run as it'll shift expectation to unachievable levels)

    Cook is still the same rubbish captain from 2 weeks ago, it's just his side won a test in the last 10.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on August 11, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    After the abject way England threw the game away at Lords I was one who could see no future for Cook as captain, but I could not have named the man to replace him. Since then his captaining has indeed improved, much from an increased use of Moeen which has been a big factor, he will still make mistakes but for this new England team this has been a big stepping stone; true India are probably the worst major test team overseas traditionally, the stats prove it, but confidence and momentum are massive. I am excited by the blend of new faces mixed with some of the old stagers, Anderson has a good 3 years left, Bell, Broad and Cook 5-7. It seems the more Moeen plays the luckier he gets, he is doing far better than Jadeja on the same pitches and if he overcomes the shortball issues is a beautiful crafted batsman.

  • cloudmess on August 11, 2014, 0:11 GMT

    England have done well to improve from where they were a couple of weeks ago, but it's no more than that. They haven't suddenly become world-beaters again. Even as an England supporter, I've been disappointed by India in the last 2 tests. Time after time under Duncan Fletcher, India adopt this maddeningly defensive mind-set. Picking an extra batsman instead of an adequate bowling attack at Southampton smacked of abject fear. As soon as you start aiming to draw games in order to hold onto a series lead, you tend to start to losing them instead. And given the rain today, if they had just batted with a bit more backbone yesterday they'd have had an excellent chance of a draw and going into the decider 1-1. Perhaps most harmfully, they are making a still moderate England side (with a very moderate coach) look better than they are - with cracks being papered over again, they are setting us up for major disappointments with both the WC and Ashes. Perhaps that's the plan.

  • on August 10, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    Moore's doesn't know what he's talking about. India handed them this victory on a gold platter garnished with truffles.

  • DingDong420 on August 10, 2014, 23:19 GMT

    Moores talks such nonsense. India are a bad team away form home. Cook has done nothing different in these tests than the previous ones.

    India seem to have given up since Lords

  • on August 10, 2014, 20:41 GMT

    let's say india is the most over-rated team in the history of cricket. period!

  • Mervo on August 10, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    What nonsense. Cook will never be an effective captain. It is not in him. He may regain some batting form but that is different. Coaches should not try to be spin doctors as well.

  • abstractCricFan on August 10, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    It would be pretty stupid to think Cook has become "steelier" in a matter of two test matches while playing a team equally bad at home ..while a fast bowler (playing his second international test match) took an over to figure him out ....India 's been outright woeful ( the same way Eng was when they visited Aus or Aus was when they visited Ind ) ...at the same time, Root and Ballance have been a revelation

  • on August 10, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Good to see that there is no mention of Pietersen in this,. The new era (which has little if anything to do with Pietersen's departure) is about the wholesale change of players.

    Most tellingly the players who supported Strauss during his tenure - not least of which was Strauss himself. Cooke was effectively captaining Andrew Strauss's team. Strauss, Swann, Prior, Trott, Bresnan, Tremlett, etc. Yes Pietersen was one of those players, but let's not give him or his deluded supporters that the idea that this talk of a "new era" has much to do with his departure.

    Who do England miss the most? Well Strauss himself followed by Trott and Swann. It's hard for a team to miss someone who isn't a team player.

    KP is barely missed at all. His leaving will have a positive effect. Whatever miniscule chance someone at England had of recalling him has gone forever now. And thank goodness for that!

  • on August 10, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    Steelier? that isnt even a word. Eng were decent but Ind was woeful, as were Eng at Lords..these two wins prove nothing about Englands future or Cook's captaincy.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 10, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    its all gone a bit quiet from kp… the darling of the ipl fans… with ref to the free advice kp was giving to cook on a daily basis?? anyone know how kp's doing?

  • Puffin on August 10, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Oh really, this is quite ridiculous, and Peter Moores ought to know better. If England were enjoying a long period of success this would be a reasonable thing to say. But two victories don't make a summer. Ending the run of defeats by beating ordinary opposition is encouraging, but no more.

  • serious-am-i on August 10, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Cook has been bad in captaincy even in the past 2 tests but Dhoni proved even worse. Just because England is winning & Cook had a couple of knocks, that doesn't make him immortal.

  • on August 10, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Agree with Yevghenny's comments, what if India win the last test by some margin and Cook performs badly with bat in bat innings? Moore is jumping the gun, getting ahead of himself, as his job and that of Cook's was hanging by a thread after Lords, and their bacon has just been saves, but India can level the series, which will be a poor reflection on England, beaten by Sri Lanka and drawn series against India [ no brave new start here ]

  • Yevghenny on August 10, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    I'm sorry but all this back slapping is a load of nonsense. The indian performance has been quite frankly pathetic for these last two 2 tests - I had high hopes for the rest of this series after their brilliant performance at Lords. England have done ok, but there is an awful long way to go yet to eradicate the absolute failure they have recently been serving up.

  • CricketingStargazer on August 10, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    I keep thinking about a comment that was made about Alistair Cook in 2012: "we won't know how good he is until he is under pressure".

    Interesting and valid thought still. Do we praise him as the guy who has stuck to it and turned around the India series? Or do we remind ourselves that he was leading the side that caved-in in Australia and lost 7 Tests out of 9?

    The criticism has eased, but maybe the jury is still out. If England have a bad World Cup and lose again to Australia next summer, expect the axes to be ground more than ever.

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  • CricketingStargazer on August 10, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    I keep thinking about a comment that was made about Alistair Cook in 2012: "we won't know how good he is until he is under pressure".

    Interesting and valid thought still. Do we praise him as the guy who has stuck to it and turned around the India series? Or do we remind ourselves that he was leading the side that caved-in in Australia and lost 7 Tests out of 9?

    The criticism has eased, but maybe the jury is still out. If England have a bad World Cup and lose again to Australia next summer, expect the axes to be ground more than ever.

  • Yevghenny on August 10, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    I'm sorry but all this back slapping is a load of nonsense. The indian performance has been quite frankly pathetic for these last two 2 tests - I had high hopes for the rest of this series after their brilliant performance at Lords. England have done ok, but there is an awful long way to go yet to eradicate the absolute failure they have recently been serving up.

  • on August 10, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Agree with Yevghenny's comments, what if India win the last test by some margin and Cook performs badly with bat in bat innings? Moore is jumping the gun, getting ahead of himself, as his job and that of Cook's was hanging by a thread after Lords, and their bacon has just been saves, but India can level the series, which will be a poor reflection on England, beaten by Sri Lanka and drawn series against India [ no brave new start here ]

  • serious-am-i on August 10, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Cook has been bad in captaincy even in the past 2 tests but Dhoni proved even worse. Just because England is winning & Cook had a couple of knocks, that doesn't make him immortal.

  • Puffin on August 10, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Oh really, this is quite ridiculous, and Peter Moores ought to know better. If England were enjoying a long period of success this would be a reasonable thing to say. But two victories don't make a summer. Ending the run of defeats by beating ordinary opposition is encouraging, but no more.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 10, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    its all gone a bit quiet from kp… the darling of the ipl fans… with ref to the free advice kp was giving to cook on a daily basis?? anyone know how kp's doing?

  • on August 10, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    Steelier? that isnt even a word. Eng were decent but Ind was woeful, as were Eng at Lords..these two wins prove nothing about Englands future or Cook's captaincy.

  • on August 10, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Good to see that there is no mention of Pietersen in this,. The new era (which has little if anything to do with Pietersen's departure) is about the wholesale change of players.

    Most tellingly the players who supported Strauss during his tenure - not least of which was Strauss himself. Cooke was effectively captaining Andrew Strauss's team. Strauss, Swann, Prior, Trott, Bresnan, Tremlett, etc. Yes Pietersen was one of those players, but let's not give him or his deluded supporters that the idea that this talk of a "new era" has much to do with his departure.

    Who do England miss the most? Well Strauss himself followed by Trott and Swann. It's hard for a team to miss someone who isn't a team player.

    KP is barely missed at all. His leaving will have a positive effect. Whatever miniscule chance someone at England had of recalling him has gone forever now. And thank goodness for that!

  • abstractCricFan on August 10, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    It would be pretty stupid to think Cook has become "steelier" in a matter of two test matches while playing a team equally bad at home ..while a fast bowler (playing his second international test match) took an over to figure him out ....India 's been outright woeful ( the same way Eng was when they visited Aus or Aus was when they visited Ind ) ...at the same time, Root and Ballance have been a revelation

  • Mervo on August 10, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    What nonsense. Cook will never be an effective captain. It is not in him. He may regain some batting form but that is different. Coaches should not try to be spin doctors as well.