The hard-fought five-match series against India shows that Test cricket is still alive and kicking, said skipper Joe Root after England secured a 60-run win in the fourth rubber to take a series-clinching 3-1 lead.
“I think it’s a really good sign for Test cricket. It shows that for me Test cricket is still alive and kicking — very much at the pinnacle of the sport,” Root said.
“Credit to India — they’ve played some really fine cricket throughout, not just this game but the whole series. It must have been great viewing for people at home to see the way that especially the first game and this one, how tight they’ve been, how it swung both ways.”
Root said he was confident of a win with so many bowling options at his disposal as England’s potent attack dismissed world No 1 India for 273 and 184 in the two innings to secure the win.
“I felt like I had huge amounts of options and having points of difference in attack. In this game, having the ball spinning both ways, having a left-arm angle and three fantastic seam bowlers that all do very different things,” he said.
“I felt I always had, from a captain’s view, something different to turn to which on a surface like that a really important thing. Some might say overkill with options, but for me it felt like a really good balance against that team on that surface.”
Moeen Ali haunted the Indian batsmen again, like he did here in 2014, and returned a match-winning haul of nine wickets for 134 runs.
He took 4-71 in the second innings as India lost their last seven wickets for 61 runs and Root was effusive in his praise for the off-spinner.
“He’s been brilliant. Sometimes, having a bit of time away from the game can be a really good thing, and he’s obviously performed exceptionally well for Worcestershire,” he said.
“He’s in the form of his life with the bat, and obviously ball as well, and he’s taken that straight into Test cricket. I couldn’t be more pleased for him.
“He’s someone that’s a big part of the dressing-room, and it’s always really nice when he goes out there and performs. He’s such a big star of this team, and I think that’s going to be the case moving forward,” he said.