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Cook reveals details of England's recipe for revival...

August 18, 2014 09:42 IST

Cook reveals details of England's recipe for revival...

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Before coming into the India series, England, and captain Alastair Cook in particular, were under tremendous pressure. They first lost the return Ashes series against Australia and then the home series loss versus Sri Lanka hurt them the most.

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After these two crushing defeats many people were calling for Cook to quit the captaincy.

"Day four at Headingley was a low moment," Cook said.

"Without my wife, I don't think I'd be standing here as captain. You don't often say things like that, I don't know why I just have, but it's the way I feel."

Then in the series against India, after losing the second Test at Lord’s -- their 10th successive Test without a victory -- England showed good spirit and the team stood up together to stage a remarkable revival.

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Image: Captain Alastair Cook of England celebrates with Joe Root after defeating India at The Kia Oval in London to win the five-match Test series on Sunday
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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'The players and the new coaching staff have made a lot of difference'

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The bowlers -- James Anderson and Stuart Broad in particular – came hard at the Indian batsmen, consistently bowling in that corridor of uncertainty and claiming their wickets at will.

Part-time spinner Moeen Ali spun a web around the batsmen and made a mark for himself in the process.

The batsmen in Ian Bell, Joe Root, Gary Balance and the captain Cook himself, stuck around and scored fighting knocks to mark the team’s comeback.

And the England captain paid tribute to his team's character after they crushed India by an innings and 244 runs in the fifth Test on Sunday to win the series 3-1.

"It was an amazing turnaround after Lord's, the players and the new coaching staff have made a lot of difference," Cook said at the presentation ceremony.

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Image: England captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson with the trophy after winning the 5th Test and the series against India at The Kia Oval in London on Sunday
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'The support we get at all the grounds has been fantastic'

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"India crumbled at the end but that was from the relentless pressure. The first day at Southampton was good, Gary (Ballance) getting a big hundred and Ian Bell following on the next day.

"In both the next two games, we had one good innings and bowled very well. They'll be very different conditions in West Indies but we can't worry about that.

"We're going to enjoy tonight, the support we get at all the grounds has been fantastic."

Joe Root was named man of the match for his unbeaten 149 which helped England to a commanding first-innings lead of 338 runs at The Oval.

"Joe Root's innings was brilliant," Cook said.

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Image: England captain Alastair Cook (right) poses for photographs with fans after defeating India in the fourth cricket Test match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 9
Photographs: Alastair Cook/Facebook/Getty Images

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'We have needed a kick up the backside'

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"We knew that, with three days left, we had the opportunity to bat. It took the impetus away from India.

"We are on the road to recovery. We haven't felt like this for a long time. We were laughing out there. You don't get many days like that. We have to enjoy it and hope it's the start of a long road back.

"The summer has been a collective effort. I can't praise (coaches) Peter Moore and Paul Farbrace highly enough. They have come in and grabbed the environment. We have needed a kick up the backside and they have been brave enough to do that."

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Image: Alastair Cook of England celebrates with Gary Ballance after England won the fifth Test match at The Oval on Sunday
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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'The winter was not a highlight of my career, but it is great to come back and score'

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Root struggled in the last Ashes series but returned to form to score at least fifty in each of the five Tests against India.

"The winter was not a highlight of my career, but it is great to come back and score," Root said.

"I was just looking to survive in the winter but now I'm looking to score and to put the pressure back on the bowlers. Hopefully, things can keep improving as it's a long time till we play Test cricket again."

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Image: Joe Root of England celebrates with Chris Jordan after making a century
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Tags: Root , India

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'All four seamers have bowled outstandingly in the last three Tests'

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Fast bowler James Anderson was named England's man of the series after taking 25 wickets and he now has 380 Test victims, three behind the English record held by Ian Botham.

"We've fought back really well, I feel very lucky to be up here getting this award," Anderson said.

"I'm in a good place with the ball, all four seamers have bowled outstandingly in the last three Tests and it's been a group effort. When the nicks carry, it makes a huge difference."


Image: James Anderson of England appeals for a wicket
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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