Third Test: Alastair Cook praises England players after Test win

Last Updated: 09/12/12 10:05am

Captain Alastair Cook praised a great team effort after England wrapped up a seven-wicket win over India in Kolkata to lead the four-match Test series 2-1.

The England skipper was named man of the match for his first-innings 190, but he was quick to share the praise around - particularly with the bowlers, who dismissed India for 316 in the first innings, then took 6-36 on day four before ending their second knock on 247 early on day five.

"It was a great performance level for four and a half days," said Cook, whose team now hold a 2-1 lead and cannot lose the series. "Everyone performed from one to 11 and that's what you need in these conditions.

"Our bowlers, on the first day, to keep India to 300 on that wicket was a fantastic effort.

"And after the start they got (in the second innings) to get six wickets in that session yesterday really won us the game. It was a credit to the hard work they've put in that they can perform in these conditions."

"We're not going to Nagpur to make up the numbers - we're going to try and win a Test match, which we know we can do."

Alastair Cook

England wobbled briefly in pursuit of victory, losing three quick wickets as they chased only 41, before Ian Bell and Nick Compton steadied the nerves.

It mirrored Saturday morning's struggles when they lost their last four first-innings wickets quickly and then saw India race out to 86 without loss, before Graeme Swann bowled Virender Sehwag with the first ball after lunch to begin the collapse.

"It was a tough morning session (on day four)," said Cook. "We were looking to bat a bit longer and build our lead. That didn't happen and that momentum (went) into the bowling.

"We didn't quite get it right. Credit to the way Sehwag and (Gautam) Gambhir played.

"We knew we had to strike early (after lunch). That's what quality players can do and Graeme Swann certainly did that first ball."

Cook was stumped for one in the second innings, but England's success was built on his first-innings knock which formed the backbone of their total of 523.

He said: "I've been hitting the ball all right on this tour. It's nice to contribute to the team's success. To score runs here you've got to bat a long period of time. I had a bit of luck on and I managed to cash in."

And he vowed England would keep up the intensity at Nagpur where England will look to close out a rare series win on the subcontinent.

"We'll never be complacent," he said. "We're not going to Nagpur to make up the numbers - we're going to try and win a Test match, which we know we can do."

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What will be the outcome of the fourth Test?

  • India win
  • Draw
  • England win