Cook all praise for Moeen Ali, England’s new bowling hero
England captain Alastair Cook Thursday praised Moeen Ali and said the part-time spinner had improved “leaps and bounds” — thanks to his stint with Worcestershire where he bowls with Pakistan offie Saeed Ajmal.
Moeen Ali produced a match-winning spell, taking six wickets as India were bowled out for 178 in their second innings, handing England a 266-run win in the third cricket Test at The Rose Bowl at Southampton on Thursday. With the comprehensive win, England tied the five-match series 1-1.
“The team from 1 to 11 have been fantastic. Moeen’s bowling has come on leaps and bounds, credit to him. When you’re bowing behind Ajmal at Worcester and he’s been bowling a lot. Responding really well and on a spinning wicket to get a six-for, can’t really ask for more,” Cook said at the post-match presentation.
The English opener said that his team won every single session in the match and deserved the win.
“Happy is the word, not relieved. We pretty much won every single session and that credit to the guys. It’s a great win, we wanted to get on that wicket first and to get 570 is a great start and bowled well and batted quickly and knocked them over again,” said Cook.
Cook, though, said that he was frustrated at not reaching the three-figure mark after a 95 in the first innings and an unbeaten 70 in the second.
“I thought my game was heading in the right direction even with 10s and 20s. Frustrating not to get the hundred, but I’d take what I got. Getting back into the ball is vital, I’m pretty good with the short ball. I nicked outside off stump and I had to take care of that. I had to work incredibly hard. Jos Buttler’s been brilliant with his quick runs and his keeping has been great too. Leader of the attack, James Anderson. Got a couple of wickets to set us off and settle nerves.”
Meeon the Hero
Moeen Ali’s maiden six-wicket haul in India’s second innings helped England tie the five-match series 1-1, beating the visitors by 266 runs in the third cricket Test. An abysmal batting performance by India saw them being bowled out for 178 on the final day before lunch.
Ajinkya Rahane’s 52 not out was the standout performance for the visitors.
In what was the worst batting performance in the series, India, who were 112 for four at stumps on the fourth day, lost six wickets for just 66 runs in the morning session to hand England an easy win.
India lost Rohit Sharma (6) before even a single run could be added to the overnight score.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who struck a fighting half century in the first innings, didn’t stick around for much long, edging a James Anderson delivery straight to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja (15) managed to stem the fall of wickets briefly with a 32-run partnership. However, Jadeja failed to read a Moeen Ali yorker and while trying to dig it out, deflected the ball back on to his stumps.
The stage was set for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who claimed the record for the most balls faced by a No.9 in a Test series, to pull out another rabbit out of the hat but it wasn’t meant to be.
Moeen Ali claimed his second wicket off the over as Bhuvneshwar lunged forward only managing to balloon a catch to Anderson at gully.
Mohammed Shami became Moeen Ali’s fifth victim again castled by the part-time off-spinner.
Rahane and Pankaj Singh (9) threw their bat around aimlessly in the end and managed to get a few boundaries, delaying the inevitable and predictably it was Moeen Ali who claimed the final wicket once again disturbing the timber.
After a drab first Test draw and a historic win for India at Lord’s, the win for England has put the series back in balance.
The two sides will next lock horns at Manchester Aug 7 in the fourth Test.