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England vs. India: Player Ratings for Alastair Cook's XI After 3rd Test

Chris BradshawFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

England vs. India: Player Ratings for Alastair Cook's XI After 3rd Test

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    After the debacle at Lord's, England returned to form with a crushing 266-run win over India in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl.

    Captain Alastair Cook finally found some form with the bat, and the senior core of Ian Bell, James Anderson and Stuart Broad all delivered after a disappointing summer to date.

    Thanks to some astute spin bowling from Moeen Ali, England cruised to victory to level the series at one apiece with two games to play.

    Read on for the Bleacher Report player ratings of the England XI.

Alastair Cook: 8/10

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    With the bat: 95, 70*

    With a convincing victory and runs in both innings, things couldn't have gone much better for Alastair Cook.

    His bowling changes worked a treat, and he was attacking in the field. The hunch to give Joe Root a bowl looked an inspired one after Shikar Dhawan nicked off to slip.

    Similarly, the skipper's decision to move of James Anderson to gully early in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's second innings paid immediate dividends when he spooned a bat pad catch straight to the England paceman.

    Cook was given a life early in his first innings and made India pay. On such fine margins can careers change.

Sam Robson: 4/10

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: 26, 13

    Nicking off to the slips is an occupational hazard for any international opening batsman. For Sam Robson, that method of dismissal is becoming a hard habit to kick.

    The 25-year-old chased a wide one from Mohammad Shami in the first innings and paid the price. He followed in similar fashion to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second, albeit to a good ball that nibbled away. The maiden Test century at Headingley against Sri Lanka in June seems an age ago.

    The Middlesex opener played some nice shots but will have to overcome his problems outside off stump if his international career is to progress.

Gary Ballance: 9/10

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    With the bat: 156, 38
    With the ball: DNB, 0-5

    A third century in just his sixth Test appearance looks to have confirmed Gary Ballance's spot at No. 3 for the foreseeable future.

    The Yorkshire batsman looked vulnerable to the swinging ball earlier in the summer but he seems to be playing much straighter now. Ballance appears perfectly home in the Test arena and is proving to be a more than capable replacement for Jonathan Trott.

    It could have been even better for the 24-year-old; he was unlucky to be given out in both innings.

Ian Bell: 8/10

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    With the bat: 167, 23

    After flattering to deceive for much of the summer, Ian Bell finally delivered a dominating knock at Southampton.

    England's number four made the most of an early lbw reprieve from the luckless Pankaj Singh to reach three figures for the first time in 11 Test matches.

    Bell's 167 in the first innings was full of shots around the wicket, and with the shackles off he provided the crowd at the Ageas Bowl with some top class entertainment.

    Bell is one of the most graceful players in world cricket when he's in the mood and this was one such delightful occasion.

Joe Root: 6/10

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    With the bat: 3, 56
    With the ball: DNB, 1-5

    It was a tale of two innings for Joe Root at the Ageas Bowl. The Yorkshireman scratched around for 45 minutes, making just three in the first innings.

    His second knock was the complete opposite. A selfless 56 from just 39 balls that included paddles, reverse sweeps, ramp shots as well as some well struck drives, set up England's second-innings declaration.

    The Yorkshireman seems to have found his home at number five and is far better suited in the middle order than opening the innings. After the travails of the winter, Root looks like becoming a permanent fixture in the England XI.

Moeen Ali: 9/10

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    With the bat: 12
    With the ball: 2-62, 6-67

    Six second-innings wickets were a fine return for Moeen Ali, who found both turn and bounce. The Worcestershire all-rounder now has 18 wickets in five Test appearances at an average of 32.11.

    Moeen didn't just rely on the rough to make his mark either. Bowling accurately and turning the ball off the pitch, he challenged both edges of the bat and reaped the rewards.

    15 Indian wickets at an average of 26.47 after three matches is more than even the most ardent England follower can have hoped for.

    Another dismissal to a short ball was the only low point in an otherwise highly encouraging performance.

Jos Buttler: 7/10

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: 85
    With the gloves: 6 catches

    Jos Buttler gave a glimpse of his Test potential by smashing a brutal 85 from just 83 balls in the first innings.

    Questions had been raised before the match about Buttler's work behind the stumps. The 23-year-old answered them all with an accomplished display behind the stumps.

    Lancashire's gloveman held on to all six chances that came his way and made some athletic stops in the face of the occasional wayward delivery.

    He'll head to Old Trafford full of confidence after a highly encouraging debut.

Chris Woakes: 6/10

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: 7*
    With the ball: 0-60, 0-23

    Chris Woakes didn't bowl badly at the Ageas Bowl, but he remained wicketless throughout both innings.

    The Warwickshire all-rounder beat the bat often enough and bowled at a decent enough lick to suggest that wickets will eventually come.

    Woakes certainly didn't let his captain down in Southampton, offering control if not much in the way of penetration. There will be days when he'll bowl much worse than he did in the third Test but take more wickets.

    Reliable in the field and a very useful lower-order batsman, Woakes has the makings of becoming a solid citizen in Alastair Cook's fledgling side.

Chris Jordan: 5/10

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: DNB
    With the ball: 0-59, 0-22

    After a bright start to his Test career against Sri Lanka, Chris Jordan found the going tougher against India.

    The Sussex paceman struggled for rhythm in Southampton, and his radar suffered accordingly.

    Spraying the ball around, Jordan couldn't get the ball in the right place often enough to consistently threaten the Indian batsmen.

    The 24-year-old appeared to be almost striving too hard to make his mark in what's shaping up to be a very competitive battle for England's third and fourth seamer spots.

    A couple of fine slip catches should boost his confidence, though, and the selectors are likely to persevere with him at Old Trafford.

Stuart Broad: 7/10

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    With the bat: DNB
    With the ball: 3-66, 0-22

    After a disappointing effort at Lord's, Stuart Broad was more like his old self at the Ageas Bowl. Bowling fuller and straighter, the Nottinghamshire paceman looked a much more dangerous proposition.

    Broad set the tone for England's improved effort in the field, claiming the important early scalps of Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara in India's first innings. He picked up just one more victim in the match but remained a wicket-taking threat throughout. His short ball, used more sparingly than earlier in the series, appeared all the better for its relative scarcity.

    The England hierarchy will be hoping his creaking body will survive two more Tests this summer, especially if James Anderson is missing.

James Anderson: 9/10

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    With the bat: DNB
    With the ball: 5-53, 2-24

    James Anderson gave another swing-bowling masterclass in Southampton. When there is movement in the air, the Lancastrian is up there with Dale Steyn as the most dangerous bowler in world cricket.

    Bowling at pace and moving it both ways, Anderson was a threat to all the Indian batsmen. Five wickets for 53 runs from 26.3 overs in the first innings put the game firmly in England's favour. With two more scalps in the second innings, Anderson was a worthy recipient of the man-of-the-match award.

    Breaking Ian Botham's record as England's all-time Test wicket taker now seems almost certain.

    England will be hoping he receives a hefty fine rather than a ban at his hearing into the Ravindra Jadeja incident, which is scheduled for Friday.

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