Cook delighted with Moeen's improvement

England

England captain Alastair Cook was full of praise for spinner Moeen Ali after his performance in the third Test against India, taking six wickets in the second innings to lead his side to a 266-run win.

England captain Alastair Cook was full of praise for spinner Moeen Ali after his performance in the third Test against India, taking six wickets in the second innings to lead his side to a 266-run win.

Moeen was the main wicket taker on day five, bagging four of his six wickets in the morning session as India were all out before lunch. After copping a lot of flak in the previous Tests, Cook was pleased for the young all-rounder.

Cook, who finally added some half tons to his own records after a long dry spell, said after the win in Southampton: "His bowling has come on leaps and bounds since the start of the summer.

"Credit to Mo he's worked really hard, it's difficult being a bit part time bowling behind Saeed Ajmal at Worcester but he's fronted up to the responsibility.

"The guys in the nets have been telling him the lines are slightly different bowling in international cricket when you've got to hold an end and he's responded really well.

"Then on a spinning wicket to get six wickets and win the game, you can't ask for any more."

Many of the young England players had never been part of a winning team, and Cook said the race for the stumps at the end was a brisk one as everyone tried to claim a memorable souvenir.

He said: "It was a scramble for the stumps for the their first win. People will remember that for a long time. We've worked incredibly hard and had some tough moments.

"We said we want to see the seniors guys stand up as well as the youngsters and one to 11 we've been fantastic.

"I don't think I'm relived, happy is probably a better word. It's a great performance from day one really, I don't think we lost a session and that's credit to the guys. Every one of the 11 has contributed."

Of his own batting, where he made 95 and 70 in the game, after more than a year of poor scores, Cook said: "I said as Lord's I thought my game was heading back in the right direction.

"With a 10 and a 20 there it was quite a hard thing to say, but backing it up here I'm incredibly pleased.

"Getting back into the ball is vital for my game, I'm pretty good on the short ball, but in the danger zone I've nicked off quite a lot, so I need to make sure I'm getting my feet and my head back into the ball."

Latest