Bouquets replace brickbats

Bouquets replace brickbats

Lavishing praise on the England cricket team for their series-equalising win in the third Test against India, former captains Geoffrey Boycott and Ian Botham said the home side looked much stronger than the tourists in every department of the game.

Writing in ‘The Daily Telegraph’, Boycott hoped that the English team would continue to perform this well in the remaining two Tests as well.

“Now we want England to prove this was not a flashy one off. We want this kind of performance for the next two Test matches and win the series,” said Boycott.

“England bounced back with an almost perfect performance. Whereas the seamers have been patchy all summer they finally bowled with energy, aggression and had more vibrancy in the field,” he added.

England beat India by 266 runs in the Southampton Test on Thursday to draw level in the five-match series after losing the second Test at Lord’s.

Botham said to watch struggling English skipper Alastair Cook finally get back to form was a superb sight.

“From what was one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen from an England team at Lord’s to one of the best in recent memory. The win at the Ageas Bowl was simply superb right from the off,” Botham wrote in ‘The Mirror’.

“On every day, in every session and in every department England were stronger than India and I expect to see them pull away further over the rest of the series. What pleased me most about this win was the contributions from across the whole team. It wasn’t just the newer guys making their mark it was the senior men too.

“Watching the likes of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell back in the runs and Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson back in the wickets was great to see and hopefully this will kick start the rest of the summer for them,” he added.

Boycott echoed the sentiment saying that Cook’s form has always been crucial to England’s overall performance.

“They looked like a proper England team. Everything went well from the first morning when the Indian third slip, Ravindra Jadeja, dropped Alastair Cook on 15. It is so important for England that Cook, as an opening batsman, makes runs.

“It is no coincidence that when England lost in Australia, and against Sri Lanka and India this summer, that he was not making any runs. When England were winning consistently he was scoring bucket fulls,” he explained.

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