England v India: Alastair Cook pays tribute to wife after series win

England v India: Alastair Cook says his wife is to thank after the captain guided his side to a 3-1 series win

By Sam Rogers

Alastair Cook admitted that he has his wife Alice to thank after guiding his resurgent England side to a 3-1 series victory over India on Sunday.

The victory in the fifth Test at Kia Oval by an innings and 244 runs capped off a remarkable comeback in a series which saw a sorry England side 1-0 down after two matches.

Without my wife, I don’t think I’d be standing here as captain

Alastair Cook

With many calling for the Essex man’s head, the 29-year-old England captain paid tribute to his wife for giving him the belief to carry on with a job which earlier this summer looked untenable.

“Without my wife, I don’t think I’d be standing here as captain,” Cook told BBC Test Match Special.

You don’t often say things like that, I don’t know why I just have, but it’s the way I feel.

“You can bare your soul quite often to Alice and she’s very good at getting me back on the straight and narrow.

“That fourth night at Headingley (vs Sri Lanka) was a tough place because we had let a winning position slip. Lord’s was also very tough (vs India) the way we lost there in conditions that were suited to us.

“But I’m quite stubborn- I believe in my ability. I stuck in there through the tough times. Sport tests your character and to bounce back as a team is testament to our character.”

Despite a lean time with the bat, Cook went on to 298 runs, averaging a shade under 50, setting platforms in the first innings to allow the bowlers to attack from the outset in the latter half of the series.

While England did make a slow start to the series, perhaps suffering from the after effects of the narrow defeat to Sri Lanka, Cook insisted that he always thought his side would win the series, even after going behind at Lord’s.

“I remember saying when we were 1-0 down that I still thought we were going to win the series,” added Cook.

“I had a lot of confidence in the talent and skill we had in the dressing room but I didn’t think we’d win quite as emphatically as we have done.

“English cricket needed a series win and to deliver like we have delivered puts a big smile on our face.”

Perhaps the most noticeable thing for outsiders looking at this England team in recent weeks, is there is an enjoyment factor about their cricket which replaced a look of fear and dejection from earlier in the summer.

And while there is still plenty of work to do for this England side, Cook reflected over the victory in South London as his side remembered how to enjoy the game again.

“The bowlers all took wickets and almost all the batters scored runs, so it’s almost the perfect game.

“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.”

Attentions now turn to white-ball cricket as England take on the tourists in five one-day matches.

Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
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