Former fast bowler Dominic Cork hailed Joe Root’s England team for bouncing back in the series against India with their innings and 76-run win in Headingley on Saturday.
England outplayed India in all three departments inside four days to hand Virat Kohli only his second innings defeat in Test cricket to level the five-match series 1-1.
Resuming on an overnight score of 215-2, the visitors crashed to 278 all out before lunch, with the Indian middle-order once again failing miserably against the pace and guile of the England fast bowlers.
“England bowlers know these conditions, know this ground and understand that 4th-5th stump line that makes batsmen play at times. They also bowl slightly wide of the crease and create an angle.
“They make it look like you have got to play at the balls and they were also a little bit fuller.
“The Indian bowlers, their lengths were not the same as their English counterparts. England constantly swung the ball… Virat Kohli said at the presentation that England bowlers didn’t let them off the hook at any stage, they put them under pressure and didn’t allow easy runs,” Cork said on air after the match.
Opting to bat on day one, India were shot out for 78, undone by a superb spell of new-ball bowling by veteran Anderson.
In reply, England, led by skipper Root’s wonderful 121 and half-centuries by Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan, were bowled out for 432, claiming a 354-run lead.
Cork however, refused to rule India out of the series and believes that the series is nicely set up now with both teams winning a Test each with two more to play at The Oval and Old Trafford.
“Test cricket is hard enough when you are trying to get a total but when the opposition are not giving away easy runs… I think it was the pressure, the conditions helped England in the morning, they swung the ball put India under pressure took the wickets.
“And if you look at the way England batted, this is the first time the top-4 have got fifties since 2013.
“So that shows the improvement in England’s top-4 and also Joe Root is in the form of his life, put that all together and I think ultimately England outplayed India. But this series is not dead and buried. We go to The Oval, flatter pitch, 2 matches to go… I don’t think anybody can predict the results,” Cork said.
The fourth Test starts at The Oval on Thursday (September 2) with the series tied 1-1.