Cook hails a special success

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ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook and his squad were today savouring what he described as “a very special” series win in India.

“It’s a very special day and a special tour,” he said after England secured the draw they needed in the Fourth Test in Nagpur to ensure they won the series 2-1, England’s first in India since 1985.

“The bowlers have been brilliant and our batters have contributed big runs,” said Cook who has ended with 863 runs, the most ever by an England batsman in India topping Mike Gatting’s total by one run.

“Everyone in the squad can be very proud, especially after Ahmedabad and that heavy defeat in the opening test when we were being written off.”

England, resuming on 161-3, knew that batting until lunch without losing too many wickets, would guarantee that India would not be able to beat them.

Jonathan Trott, who made 143, and Ian Bell, 116no, - who had come together at 94-3 on Saturday - ensured there were no alarms as they extended their stand to 208. Then Joe Root was able to get another hour’s batting under his England cap as he made 20no, including a six, as the game petered out to its inevitable conclusion with England 352-4.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised James Anderson, named man of the match after taking 4-81 in India’s first innings saying that he was the difference between the two bowling sides.

“He bowled really well. He was testing the batsman quite often.”

Anderson, who finished with 12 wickets in the series after mastering reverse swing in the final two tests, said he felt he bowled better than he had before.

“When we come over here, people think that spinners are going to get all the wickets but we knew that the seamers had a job to do.

“Reverse swing has been a key part of us doing well.”