England v India: Alastair Cook hails batting masterclass

England v India: Alastair Cook praises his side's battling display after the hosts take a 2-1 lead in the series

By Sam Rogers

Captain Alastair Cook has praised his side’s battling ability after England beat India by an innings and 54 runs at Old Trafford.

With Stuart Broad at hospital after a nasty blow to the face, and James Anderson not 100 per cent with illness, the hosts were without their two main strike bowlers.

Despite battling with sickness Anderson managed to take the new ball and bowled a fantastic opening spell, before Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan took over to bowl the tourists out in a session and take a 2-1 lead to the Kia Oval on Friday.

“You don’t often get nine wickets in a session, the support we’ve had for three days was fantastic and we love playing here,” Cook said.

“We thought we’d get enough cricket over the next two days, but it was great to do it today. Jimmy’s got the lurgy, he’s not very well so it was a great effort for him to get off his bed to bowl those nine overs.

“Moeen was terrific – I’ve never seen a bloke work so hard and improve so much in international cricket.”

Cook was also quick to point out the improvements made by his senior players and pay credit to the way they bowled on day one to set up the emphatic victory inside three days.

“We missed our straps in similar conditions at Lord’s but Jimmy and Broady were exceptional in that first hour,” he added.

“I’m lucky to captain them as they’re brilliant bowlers and they’ve learned how to bowl in all conditions. Hopefully we can keep them fit for a few more years. We’ll enjoy tonight and a couple of days off and can rest up well before The Oval.”

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