England v India, 4th Investec Test, Old Trafford, 3rd day August 9, 2014

Young England growing up fast

The turnaround in England's fortunes since defeat at Lord's has been remarkable and testament to the faith Alastair Cook has shown in several new players
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Dravid: Moeen's pace troubled batsmen

India's abject cricket in every department of the game should not compromise the part played in England's revival by a collection of fresh faces. Enthusiasm is a great gift. From it comes energy, application and courage. After Lord's, where England themselves surrendered pathetically, the dressing-rooms would have reflected the emotional whirl of professional sport. One team rampant, the other in ruins. Ecstasy, agony; laugh, cry; smile, scowl; speak to friends, turn off phone; meet for a drink, room service. In short, these moments bring on the extremes of exhilaration and despair. So unpredictable is sport that the emotions bounce around almost uncontrollably. The ability to handle them and respond accordingly is crucial to the development of a team.

Old hands find it hardest. This is why defeat tears a team apart. England's experienced XI was too much for Australia last summer in England. When the same group of successful players started losing during the winter in Australia, they had nothing with which to fight back - no energy, no mind or stomach for it. They were battle weary, punch drunk, shot away. Call it what you like but they were gone.

In contrast, the players that lost to India at Lord's were mainly starting out on their journey. Each had a gift but learning how to use it for the greater good of the England team was taking time. The pack was chasing the captain but he resolved to see it through. The fruits of his determination and belief are clear for all to see.

But in what exactly did Alastair Cook have such faith? Let's have a think. Himself certainly and, for sure, a new-ball pairing that has taken more than 600 wickets for England. He needed more from Ian Bell and he naturally backed Matt Prior, as much as anything because Prior had always backed him. Prior chose an honourable course, Bell got his head down. Above all though, Cook judged that the young players had a few things going for them and most important of those was enthusiasm. He looked around that room at Lord's and amidst the wreckage he could see a future. A future worth fighting for.

Top of his chart must have been Gary Ballance, a man of quiet talent and substantial achievement. Until Jonathan Trott's vigil, the No. 3 slot had various applicants. After Trott went the way of the broken-hearted in Brisbane, the hungry Australians devoured Joe Root's uncertain crack at it. It is well documented that when Ballance was asked if fancied the job, he said "when do I start?" A captain cannot want more for than that. Ballance brings both composure and conviction to England's batting. Each morning, about half an hour before play starts, he goes to the middle, stands at the crease and visualises - runs, runs and more runs presumably.

Neck and neck with Ballance for the captain's affections must be his Yorkshire team-mate, Joe Root. Fed upon by the Australians, Root has come back stronger, smarter, tighter. We won't see him caught at third man playing the paddle scoop again, even if he has made 180. We will see him bat on, and on. Root is brave and utterly committed to the cause of his country. No 5 works well for him now. He plays the opponent and the situation with clarity and works partnerships with skill. He is a bit cocky, which is good, especially as he is now harnessing the best of his talents and applying them with thought and consistency.

Three weeks is indeed a long time in sport. Alastair Cook appeared at his wit's end when the India players began their Lord's party but he saw himself at the beginning of a journey he truly believed he could conquer

Next up is Moeen Ali. Fancy the fans singing "Graeme who?" on Friday evening when Moeen came out to be interviewed by Ian Ward from Sky. Ten wickets in the last two innings in which he has bowled tells us plenty about India's woeful batting but it also shows that Moeen is a proper threat. Of course, he is no Graeme Swann. Not yet anyway. But Moeen does spin the ball, delivering the thing with enough revs to dip the occasional one at the last second. He bowls pretty accurately and is not fazed by attacking batsmen. He improves almost daily and would benefit from an hour or two with Shane Warne whose genius was to bowl the ball "up", thus getting it to travel with hidden deception and surprising bounce.

His batting has stalled. Two things have led to this. One is the short ball, which is confusing him. Until he works out a clear defensive method, he should take it on, rather than try to fend it off. The angle of the ball that hurts him most, the one from around the wicket, is hard to avoid because it follows him. Attack it Moeen, until the off season allows you time to think it through. Otherwise he has played some measured innings and displayed a surprising power of shot. His memorable, heroic hundred all but saved the Headingley match against Sri Lanka. Yes, there is something of the hero in him. A man to inspire a new following for English cricket.

Jos Buttler's was not at Lord's, lucky chap. Not for the Test match at least, but he was there for the ODI against Sri Lanka, when he flayed them. Buttler is outrageously gifted with the bat and modest too. He doesn't do the hype, just the hitting. We thought his game was one dimensional but both here he proved he had gears. He batted with great intelligence, allowing Root to dominate the partnership that ripped the game from India's grasp.

His wicket-keeping is a work in progress. In Southampton he impressed. In Manchester he looked oddly insecure. Adam Gilchrist was average behind the timbers in his early days. Enough said. Buttler will spend hours studying the art and searching for improvement. He loves the work ethic. Best of all, like Gilchrist, he is box office and English cricket sparkles a little more with him on the field. The crowd see this and with his arrival comes a great fizz of anticipation.

Engand stuck with Chris Jordan for this match when, after an iffy game at the Ageas Bowl, other selectors might have packed him off to the shires. Ridiculous as it sounds, Jordan's catching sets a standard. His footwork and hands are close to perfect. By making a difficult skill appear easy, he inspires others. England caught brilliantly in the match, a sure sign of a winning team. The ability to catch tells us that Jordan is a proper cricketer. He leaves no stone unturned in his preparation and improvement seems an inevitable result of this attention to detail. With the ball, he has pace. With the bat, he has strength. Give this man time and he will reward with you with moments of magic.

Sam Robson and Chris Woakes are less convincing but no less worthy as men. Sometimes, you have to pick the character and stick with it for a while to find out if the talent can match the attitude and mind. Robson tries almost too hard, which leads to a rigidity in his play and inflexibility to his options. He is popular because he relishes the contest and enhances the team ethic but soon enough he will be judged on his output not simply the strength of that character. The Oval is a big game for him. He must find a way to flow.

Woakes is much admired by the bowling coach, David Saker. But you sense he is on the time he has borrowed from Ben Stokes. Stokes has flair. Woakes has honesty. Flair wins by a mile if it is fit and in the present. Meanwhile, Woakes needs to make the batsman play at more balls, ensuring that he jars their bottom hand when he does so.

With these two are Liam Plunkett, whose heart is plenty big enough for the job of fast bowling and Steven Finn, who is creeping back into our consciousness.

After the match, Cook could barely contain his excitement. Three weeks is indeed a long time in sport, he agreed. We all thought he was at his wit's end when the India players began their Lord's party but he saw himself at the beginning of a journey he truly believed he could conquer. Feeble as India have been in these two matches, you can only thrash the opponent put before you and, by heaven, England have done that.

Mark Nicholas, the former Hampshire captain, presents the cricket on Channel 9 in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MichaelBeen on August 11, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    @saravananunga, I don't know what young Australian team you've been watching, but it was a bunch of oldies that won in South Africa. Rogers (36), Haddin (36), Harris (34), Clarke (33), Watson (33), Johnson (32), Marsh (31). They must be the oldest team in cricket right now.

  • saravananunga on August 11, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Yes Young england is growing up fast but other teams are growing faster than england just open your eyes and look around ,young Srilankan team won in england,young southafrican team won in srilanka,young australian team won in southafrica,even young indian team won one test match in england but england have just won now after one year that too in home still these kids have to travel the globe to grow,if they win one test match atleast outside england we will accept they have grown up or else??

  • on August 11, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    Yorkshire-pud 3 wickets @ 60 in paper dies not represent a great return. But what does Boycs say, "lies, damn lies and then statistics" Every time he got a bowl against Sri Lanka he was bowling at set batmen (in May)as an after thought. Cook didn't back him. Then when he did break a partnership he was whipped out for a seamer. I'm not saying he's going to make Clarke, Amla, A B his bunny, no one in world cricket ever will but this guy can bowl an attacking line at a good pace, he gets drift and turn. What more do you want? What's your view on my case for Samit??

  • YorkshirePudding on August 11, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    @Valavan, I think Comptons boat has sailed, in terms of other operners, Lyth has out performed hales in this years CC, and is a pretty decent fielder.

    It depends on how you select players.

  • Valavan on August 11, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    @BharatNatteri, were you one of those colleagues of ArunBose who expected 5 - 0 since england lost to SL. England have been unpredictable at times, they lost to windies 1 - 0 in 2009, but they managed to destroy them in 2004, 3 - 0. Even if any blind fan says about England is a great team, we know ourselves how we can perform. Losing to SL is a wake up call, England took over india 2 -1 in India and that woke up india and bounced back 4- 0 vs Australia. England never had shivering bowlers, it was just they get beaten in line, in first 2 tests, england bowlers targeted either off stump or outside off. Now they are trying to swing it into off and middle where indians are forced to play at it, Jordan is just 3 tests old, anyway we shall see if he progresses or not, but finn, plunkett and stokes on the queue. I feel england should play either compton or hales as opener instead of sticking to Robson. Appreciate good cricket instead eating sour grapes. cricinfo please publish

  • xtrafalgarx on August 11, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    @Paul-Rone-Clarke: Tredwell, who has a good record in ODI's had a good series in India, but struggled against the Aussies home and away. He reckons it's harder to bowl spin to Australian batsmen IN AUSTRALIA than Indian batsmen in India.

    Also, it's no longer a given that Indian batsmen are good players of spin. Swann ad Monty not only schooled their batsmen, but their bowlers as well on how to bowl spin in India. They don't have top class spinners any more do India, guys like Kumble, and Harbajhan are gone. Jadeja is average at best. This has directly affected their batting against spin as well, Lyon didn't end up doing to badly In India in the end - he was getting them pretty cheaply in the last test i couldn't believe it.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 10, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    @Nathan Franklin, to be honest India are no longer the best players of spin, thats was shown in 2012 when Monty and Swann ran through them, and Moeen is doing the same.

    In regards to SL have you looked at Moeens Averages in that series, 3 wickets @60.

    @Halequin., As I said we need to temper things with a bit of reality, at the momen everything looks hunky dory and the media are fawning over the likes of Moeen and Buttler, but just wait until they have a bad couple of games, Buttler with low scores and 20+ byes conceded, Moeen not being effective, you'll see the media change its tune.

    Look at how the media has reacted to Stokes, scored a ton and took good wickets in Aus, came back to the UK and flopped a bit, now they dont want anything to do with him.

  • on August 10, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    @yorkshire-pudding. Ali hasn't exactly been tested against the worlds best????? Was that Sangakara's identical twin he got out then was it? Add Kholi, Pujara, Dhoni to the list. He is getting top order batsmen out, what more could be asked of him? Samit Patel for Robson, bat at 5 everyone moves up a slot. Another angle with his left arm slow, another option. Would say Mo is better bowler but for me he gets in on merit as a bat.

  • heathrf1974 on August 10, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Wait till a team plays away before giving judgement. But the bowling of Moeen Ali and batting of Ballance seems promising

  • on August 10, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    "Stokes has flair. Woakes has honesty. Flair wins by a mile if it is fit and in the present."

    No it doesn't. Would you have said the same about the Waugh brothers? The greatest issue for Woakes is sticking to doing what he does best at county level. The short ball attack plan he used on the final days at times was patently not how he usually bowls and he looked uneasy with it. David Saker's record with England's bowlers is not great. Many have come and fallen by the wayside with Finn's collapse being the obvious pointer. Indeed, it's feasible to say that the one English bowler who has shown improvement over the last year is Moeen Ali. Coincidentally he is a spinner and you can imagine doesn't receive quite so much input from the seam-friendly Saker.

  • MichaelBeen on August 11, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    @saravananunga, I don't know what young Australian team you've been watching, but it was a bunch of oldies that won in South Africa. Rogers (36), Haddin (36), Harris (34), Clarke (33), Watson (33), Johnson (32), Marsh (31). They must be the oldest team in cricket right now.

  • saravananunga on August 11, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Yes Young england is growing up fast but other teams are growing faster than england just open your eyes and look around ,young Srilankan team won in england,young southafrican team won in srilanka,young australian team won in southafrica,even young indian team won one test match in england but england have just won now after one year that too in home still these kids have to travel the globe to grow,if they win one test match atleast outside england we will accept they have grown up or else??

  • on August 11, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    Yorkshire-pud 3 wickets @ 60 in paper dies not represent a great return. But what does Boycs say, "lies, damn lies and then statistics" Every time he got a bowl against Sri Lanka he was bowling at set batmen (in May)as an after thought. Cook didn't back him. Then when he did break a partnership he was whipped out for a seamer. I'm not saying he's going to make Clarke, Amla, A B his bunny, no one in world cricket ever will but this guy can bowl an attacking line at a good pace, he gets drift and turn. What more do you want? What's your view on my case for Samit??

  • YorkshirePudding on August 11, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    @Valavan, I think Comptons boat has sailed, in terms of other operners, Lyth has out performed hales in this years CC, and is a pretty decent fielder.

    It depends on how you select players.

  • Valavan on August 11, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    @BharatNatteri, were you one of those colleagues of ArunBose who expected 5 - 0 since england lost to SL. England have been unpredictable at times, they lost to windies 1 - 0 in 2009, but they managed to destroy them in 2004, 3 - 0. Even if any blind fan says about England is a great team, we know ourselves how we can perform. Losing to SL is a wake up call, England took over india 2 -1 in India and that woke up india and bounced back 4- 0 vs Australia. England never had shivering bowlers, it was just they get beaten in line, in first 2 tests, england bowlers targeted either off stump or outside off. Now they are trying to swing it into off and middle where indians are forced to play at it, Jordan is just 3 tests old, anyway we shall see if he progresses or not, but finn, plunkett and stokes on the queue. I feel england should play either compton or hales as opener instead of sticking to Robson. Appreciate good cricket instead eating sour grapes. cricinfo please publish

  • xtrafalgarx on August 11, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    @Paul-Rone-Clarke: Tredwell, who has a good record in ODI's had a good series in India, but struggled against the Aussies home and away. He reckons it's harder to bowl spin to Australian batsmen IN AUSTRALIA than Indian batsmen in India.

    Also, it's no longer a given that Indian batsmen are good players of spin. Swann ad Monty not only schooled their batsmen, but their bowlers as well on how to bowl spin in India. They don't have top class spinners any more do India, guys like Kumble, and Harbajhan are gone. Jadeja is average at best. This has directly affected their batting against spin as well, Lyon didn't end up doing to badly In India in the end - he was getting them pretty cheaply in the last test i couldn't believe it.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 10, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    @Nathan Franklin, to be honest India are no longer the best players of spin, thats was shown in 2012 when Monty and Swann ran through them, and Moeen is doing the same.

    In regards to SL have you looked at Moeens Averages in that series, 3 wickets @60.

    @Halequin., As I said we need to temper things with a bit of reality, at the momen everything looks hunky dory and the media are fawning over the likes of Moeen and Buttler, but just wait until they have a bad couple of games, Buttler with low scores and 20+ byes conceded, Moeen not being effective, you'll see the media change its tune.

    Look at how the media has reacted to Stokes, scored a ton and took good wickets in Aus, came back to the UK and flopped a bit, now they dont want anything to do with him.

  • on August 10, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    @yorkshire-pudding. Ali hasn't exactly been tested against the worlds best????? Was that Sangakara's identical twin he got out then was it? Add Kholi, Pujara, Dhoni to the list. He is getting top order batsmen out, what more could be asked of him? Samit Patel for Robson, bat at 5 everyone moves up a slot. Another angle with his left arm slow, another option. Would say Mo is better bowler but for me he gets in on merit as a bat.

  • heathrf1974 on August 10, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Wait till a team plays away before giving judgement. But the bowling of Moeen Ali and batting of Ballance seems promising

  • on August 10, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    "Stokes has flair. Woakes has honesty. Flair wins by a mile if it is fit and in the present."

    No it doesn't. Would you have said the same about the Waugh brothers? The greatest issue for Woakes is sticking to doing what he does best at county level. The short ball attack plan he used on the final days at times was patently not how he usually bowls and he looked uneasy with it. David Saker's record with England's bowlers is not great. Many have come and fallen by the wayside with Finn's collapse being the obvious pointer. Indeed, it's feasible to say that the one English bowler who has shown improvement over the last year is Moeen Ali. Coincidentally he is a spinner and you can imagine doesn't receive quite so much input from the seam-friendly Saker.

  • cric_lver on August 10, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    what a shame that england doing well in new era.

  • Nutcutlet on August 10, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    India'a cricket is like eggshell: hard and resistant initially, but once cracked it's a total mess! The 'cracking' moment (has there ever been such a moment in a Test series before?) was, of course, at the Ageas Bowl when Jadeja dropped Cook, then on 15, off Pankaj Singh (of all the most luckless bowlers!) India hasn't been at the races since then. Perhaps Indians believe in fate. They have certainly bemoaned their luck (spiced with all that judicial stuff) ever since. It has been a collective shug of Indian shoulders. Now, for me, cricket comes before flag-waving patriotism. Every time. I'd rather see a great match, a real contest, no matter who wins. And I have been seriously let down, because the lack of any genuine desire from the Indian team to compete. Yes, England has played very well and I daresay there'll be more English cakes & ale at the Oval. Lacking a contest to savour, I have enjoyed decontextualized moments, none moreso than the great catching of Chris Jordan.

  • on August 10, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    Finn for Woakes at the Oval. Leave Jordan for the time being. Ben Stokes needs time away from the international arena. For the West Indies i would take Adam Lyth of Yorkshire.

  • Harlequin. on August 10, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    @yorkshire pudding - the talk before the summer was that SL and India were the best players of spin. What happened?!

    Also, my first post was that Moeen and Buttler performed well, which does go against what most fans have been saying. Against different opposition blah blah blah, only 2 innings blah blah blah. They aren't the finished article by any means, you'd have to be braindead to expect that they'd walk into to test cricket and be flawless, but what I was saying, is that so far they have done far better than people were suggesting.

  • on August 10, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    Ravi - Not utterly wrong at all, don't let partisanship cloud your thinking. England beat Australia last summer 3-0 because of the experience and reasons above, it allowed them to win when the games were quite balanced. By the time they got to Australia there was a gulf in class and the experience couldn't help. India look shot know, their lack of longseries experience hurting as much as anythin?. It will be a miracle if they can get any sort of result at Oval.

  • gujratwalla on August 10, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    It is very surprising the way this series has turned about.Perhaps the pitches have had more life in them then in the first two matches? I am further unable to understand that batsmen like Joe Root and Moeen Ali have often taken their eyes off the short ball and got out like myopics.Joe is far the better player but he seems to have a big weakness against the rising ball.Moeen Ali is a natural hooker but he looks to be petrified of the bouncer!Some while ago we heard Mike Holding saying if the present day batsmen had played in his time they would have been dead!In those days batsmen did not let the balls go over them or past them but HIT them.Just to let the bowler know who was in charge.This often discouraged the bowlers and put them off their rythm.And usually put paid to the sledgers too.I think England made a mistake by not playing Finn.He has the right pace and attitude for a Test bowler.It is too early to say how good is Moeen Ali as a spinner but he is learning swiftly.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 10, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    @haq33, how wrong could you be, I am happy that the team is winning, however I temper that with realism, which is that against a better team this england team wouldnt be fairing quite as well. There is always room for improvement, and Buttler needs to improve his glove work, and we havent seem Buttler bat after hes been crouched behind the stumps for 4 sessions.

    The third Seamer is a great worry, Jordan 8 wickets @ 55, Woakes 2 @ 129, stokes might do the job with 22 @32, but Its still a worry.

    Moeen has done a great job, but again hes hardly been tested against the worlds best.

    Robson is a concern, In CC you have a few options this season Lyth is the top of the pile on form, but he can be hit and miss.

  • on August 10, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    Amazing. The talk here of Australia being better players of spin than India. Do you guys proof read what you are writing? Australia.... Better at playing spin. Than India? Really? Yes they are more aggressive, yes their lucky days seem more destructive, but they are not better players of spin. They never have been, not for one session of one match in the whole history of test cricket. As a team India are, and always have been far better players of spin than the Aussies.

  • haq33 on August 10, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    Hi Yorkshire pudding. U must be the most miserable Eng fan in the world. What exactly do u want from ur team? They won, Moeen Ali's contribution was huge. This side only has a few who could be termed as outstanding players. There are many average-good players also there, of which Moeen is presently one. What team doesn't have such a composition?? That said, treat Moeen as the frontline spinner for now and he may well deliver. So far, on English pitches he has done well. On subcont and WI pitches he will do really well. He has earned his place well. Have some belief in ur team - what must u be like when Eng are losing a series??

  • YorkshirePudding on August 10, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    @Harlequin, actually it doesnt, ALi's bowling has been good, but against a different opposition I can see him getting deposited over the boundary a lot more, and his batting seems to be suffering as a result.

    In terms of Buttler, 2 innings isnt really enought to say one way or the other, and dont forget that his glove work isnt great, hes let 31 byes past him in 4 innings, 20 at southampton, and 11 in this last test, against teams like SA and Aus, those extras will hurt.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 10, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    @Dundar.bob, you took the words right out of my mouth, at the moment England can only play the team in front of them, it seems indian batsmen have forgotten how to play spinners that get the ball to turn, rather than spearing it as per IPL.

    Moeen will definitely face bigger challenges, but there are only 5-6 tests before we play Australia again, and 3 of those are against NZ and WI's.

    The main concern is the 3rd bowler, im very unconvinced by Jordan, Stokes and Woakes. If Broad isnt able to play, then we might see how Fin has developed, because when Anderson goes there isnt anything out there, I'd love to see How Chris Overton performs at Test Level but not sure hes quite ready.

    India on the other hand are missing Shama, who bounced them out at Lords, with B. Kumar looking tired.

  • rameshpatelcric on August 10, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    pujara, kohli, dhawan jadeja all the young players failed. no point in trying to put down england when we are so pathetic outside india.

  • CaseyWilliamOZ on August 10, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    England coming up nicely. They just needed a win to boost their confidence. Always knew India would fold under bit of pressure. When the going gets tough, India always gives up.

  • landl47 on August 10, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Although the Indian fans are focussing on their team's shortcomings, it shouldn't be forgotten what a magnificent performance this was by England, and by Cook as captain particularly. With one of their two opening bowlers out and the other sick, England had three bowlers with a scant 13 tests between them to carry the load. Not only that, but they knew they had to get through the Indian line-up tonight with the storm coming in tomorrow.

    Cook's bowling changes and field placements were exemplary, catching and fielding were top class and although Jordan and Woakes didn't bowl as well as they might have done, Moeen ripped the heart out of the Indian line-up, even sick Anderson had too much for Gambhir and Kohli, a run-out (Moeen again) helped and the game was wrapped up with 45 minutes in hand.

    I said at the start of the Summer that this year was more about the attitude and performance of the young players than results. Attitude and performance have been great and we have results too!

  • JasonGray on August 10, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    India has been woeful outside their home for a very long time. Indian fans, should be more concerned about their awful side than trying to troll England here. Just look at the result mate

  • dunger.bob on August 10, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    I'm having a bit of a hard time getting my head around what's been happening here. If you took the last 2 Tests in isolation, you could probably be excused for wondering if there is any team capable of beating this England side. The way they simply blew India away in this Test was verging on awesome. .. Yet, if you go back only two Tests it was India that looked to be the superior team and England looked woeful.

    So what's really going on? Well, I don't think that can be reasonably worked out until England plays a few other teams home and away. There are just too many questions that need answering before I'm game to have a stab at saying how good England are. Questions like these: A] Exactly how bad are India playing? Are they truly as bad as they look atm or are they just being made to look bad by a much better team. B] Just how good is Moeen Ali with the ball? Is he really a 5 w.p.m bowler or is he just being made to look good by a very poor opponent. .. I don't know. Not yet.

  • Sexysteven on August 10, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    Yes credit to England but India were woeful the test for England will be the ashes next I just think Cook will get found out as captain the England media and public are getting a false impression atm cos India ain't picking there best team for starters to suit English conditions and now they are starting to fold like cards where had they selected right team they could of been at least competitive still by now as far as England goes I think robson get gets one last chance then I would try Vince or hales adifferent type opener to compliment Cook woakes out for stokes and Jordan out for plunkett or Finn would be the way I would go buttler they have to stick with him for the next ten years his keeping will get better his batting should go from strength to strength he's just what England need

  • DCricket on August 10, 2014, 2:35 GMT

    India historically has been a mentally weak team overseas. I bet if we play 5 test series again Zimbabwe we will manage to loose at least one game. Thats India. This doesn't take aways anything from England for playing better cricket. Biggest weakness for india is Dhoni, who is very weak captain. If he was not very defensive in 3rd test India might have been in better situation. Until this issue is fixed I would not waste time watching India's matches outside india.

  • on August 10, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    Unbelievable column. Agreed India has allowed England to flourish with some very poor fielding and batting. It happens but to say that all of the New England team are stars in the making is too much to stomach. Moeen will be sorted out soon. It is only a matter of time. Jordan is similar to Sanjay bangar. Indians will not be shivering to face him. Virat is too good not to sort out his issue. A fighting innings is around the corner and boy he does not forget easily. Wait for retribution, it is just a matter of time.

  • Harlequin. on August 9, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    Ali bowling sides out? Buttler scoring runs and taking catches? but that goes against everything that England fans have been saying on these forums for the past few months!

  • Team_Cook on August 9, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    I am still puzzled to why Ben Stokes was dropped, yes he couldn't buy a run at the time but he was still one of the better bowlers for England at Lords and offers a much more threat than Jordan and Woakes in my opinion. Its great that Steve Finn has found his rhythm back but it would be great if he kept on improving over the next 12 months and by the time the ashes 2015 is here England could have bowling attack that consist of Jimmy, Broad, Stokes, Finn and Moeen Ali.

    The best opener available to England is Nick Compton in my opinion and yes he is having an average series I think England should have a look at him once again. Afterall, England have failed to register a 100 run partnership since they dropped Compton.

  • on August 9, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    Morning does not always show the day. England were down and out at Lords . With their back to the wall Captain Cook's young brigade bounced back brilliantly in the third and fourth tests. England is now in commanding position .It is highly unlikely that pathetic Indian team can regroup and compete even in the 5th test. This England team is looking great .

  • on August 9, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Too early to crown them ?

  • AltafPatel on August 9, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Ballance, Buttler and Moin Ali had been very good findings of the tournament. There now seems good future for England's test cricket.

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  • AltafPatel on August 9, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    Ballance, Buttler and Moin Ali had been very good findings of the tournament. There now seems good future for England's test cricket.

  • on August 9, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Too early to crown them ?

  • on August 9, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    Morning does not always show the day. England were down and out at Lords . With their back to the wall Captain Cook's young brigade bounced back brilliantly in the third and fourth tests. England is now in commanding position .It is highly unlikely that pathetic Indian team can regroup and compete even in the 5th test. This England team is looking great .

  • Team_Cook on August 9, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    I am still puzzled to why Ben Stokes was dropped, yes he couldn't buy a run at the time but he was still one of the better bowlers for England at Lords and offers a much more threat than Jordan and Woakes in my opinion. Its great that Steve Finn has found his rhythm back but it would be great if he kept on improving over the next 12 months and by the time the ashes 2015 is here England could have bowling attack that consist of Jimmy, Broad, Stokes, Finn and Moeen Ali.

    The best opener available to England is Nick Compton in my opinion and yes he is having an average series I think England should have a look at him once again. Afterall, England have failed to register a 100 run partnership since they dropped Compton.

  • Harlequin. on August 9, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    Ali bowling sides out? Buttler scoring runs and taking catches? but that goes against everything that England fans have been saying on these forums for the past few months!

  • on August 10, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    Unbelievable column. Agreed India has allowed England to flourish with some very poor fielding and batting. It happens but to say that all of the New England team are stars in the making is too much to stomach. Moeen will be sorted out soon. It is only a matter of time. Jordan is similar to Sanjay bangar. Indians will not be shivering to face him. Virat is too good not to sort out his issue. A fighting innings is around the corner and boy he does not forget easily. Wait for retribution, it is just a matter of time.

  • DCricket on August 10, 2014, 2:35 GMT

    India historically has been a mentally weak team overseas. I bet if we play 5 test series again Zimbabwe we will manage to loose at least one game. Thats India. This doesn't take aways anything from England for playing better cricket. Biggest weakness for india is Dhoni, who is very weak captain. If he was not very defensive in 3rd test India might have been in better situation. Until this issue is fixed I would not waste time watching India's matches outside india.

  • Sexysteven on August 10, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    Yes credit to England but India were woeful the test for England will be the ashes next I just think Cook will get found out as captain the England media and public are getting a false impression atm cos India ain't picking there best team for starters to suit English conditions and now they are starting to fold like cards where had they selected right team they could of been at least competitive still by now as far as England goes I think robson get gets one last chance then I would try Vince or hales adifferent type opener to compliment Cook woakes out for stokes and Jordan out for plunkett or Finn would be the way I would go buttler they have to stick with him for the next ten years his keeping will get better his batting should go from strength to strength he's just what England need

  • dunger.bob on August 10, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    I'm having a bit of a hard time getting my head around what's been happening here. If you took the last 2 Tests in isolation, you could probably be excused for wondering if there is any team capable of beating this England side. The way they simply blew India away in this Test was verging on awesome. .. Yet, if you go back only two Tests it was India that looked to be the superior team and England looked woeful.

    So what's really going on? Well, I don't think that can be reasonably worked out until England plays a few other teams home and away. There are just too many questions that need answering before I'm game to have a stab at saying how good England are. Questions like these: A] Exactly how bad are India playing? Are they truly as bad as they look atm or are they just being made to look bad by a much better team. B] Just how good is Moeen Ali with the ball? Is he really a 5 w.p.m bowler or is he just being made to look good by a very poor opponent. .. I don't know. Not yet.

  • JasonGray on August 10, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    India has been woeful outside their home for a very long time. Indian fans, should be more concerned about their awful side than trying to troll England here. Just look at the result mate