England vs. India: Player Ratings for Alastair Cook's XI After 4th Test
England's recent resurgence continued at Old Trafford with a resounding innings win against a sorry-looking India outfit.
Despite Stuart Broad being incapacitated and Jimmy Anderson struggling with illness, MS Dhoni's men folded weakly and looked like they had one eye on the flight home.
That is a problem as there's still another five-dayer, a solitary Twenty20 clash and the obligatory ODI series to come.
Anyway, let's concentrate on Alastair Cook's outfit and rate how each man performed in the fourth Test.
Alastair Cook: 6/10
With the bat: 17
Although Cook didn't contribute significantly with the bat after top-edging a needless pull shot off Indian speedster Varun Aaron, it is amazing what a couple of wins can do.
All of a sudden, the smile has returned to the skipper's face, bowling changes are working out, funky fields aren't required and he also added a couple of more catches to take his impressive tally to 106 in 108 Tests.
Critics will point out that it has been 30 innings since the 29-year-old registered a top-level ton, but who would bet against him setting the record straight at the Oval?
Sam Robson: 3/10
With the bat: 6
The scrutiny of players in Test cricket is unsurpassed...as the struggling Sam Robson is currently finding out after another low score at Old Trafford.
It was only a few weeks ago, the Australian-born opener made a quality century against Sri Lanka and looked like a natural at this level.
And while he's still scored 128 runs against India at an average of 21.33, an uncertainty on and around off stump have revealed a technical deficiency that MS Dhoni's men are ruthlessly exploiting.
Like Cook, Robson desperately needs a score at the Oval.
Gary Ballance: 6/10
With the bat: 37
While this particular score was hardly eye-catching, Gary Ballance's contribution, again showcasing his ability to play different types of innings, helped England to reach 113/3 from a potentially precarious position of 36/2.
The runs took the 24-year-old's tally to a series-leading 439, and impressively he has only failed to make double figures once in six Test matches this summer.
Peter Moores and Cook must be delighted that the crucial position of No. 3 has been filled in the England order for the considerable future.
Ian Bell: 8/10
With the bat: 58
After his "Daddy Hundred" at the Rose Bowl, a sumptuous 58 off just 82 balls reconfirmed the ever-graceful Ian Bell's return to form.
Sure, some would say the 32-year-old should have gone on to make a bigger contribution, but his rate of scoring helped England quickly draw level with India's paltry total and put the visitors on the back foot.
Throw in the couple of sharp chances Bell snaffled to send Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane back to the pavilion, and England's middle-order maestro produced the goods.
Joe Root: 8/10
With the bat: 77
Joe Root and Jos Buttler produced the definitive partnership of this match, and the baby-faced run-maker continues to excel in the No. 5 position.
Despite being in the midst of a tense situation—just after the 23-year-old arrived at the crease, England fell to 140/5—Root batted with great composure and common sense to pile the pressure on India.
After a difficult time in Australia over the winter (OK, he wasn't the only one), Root has chalked up two huge tons and three half-centuries in the past few months and averages 46.55 in Test cricket.
Moeen Ali: 7/10
With the bat: 13
With the ball: 4-39
Surprisingly, Moeen Ali became the fastest English spinner ever to reach 20 Test match wickets, reaching the milestone with the scalp of Ajinkya Rahane in India's pitiful second innings at Old Trafford.
The all-rounder's four scalps ripped apart the visitor's resistance on Day 3 and reaffirmed his growing confidence...with the ball anyway.
Ali's main strength remains his batting, and he will be disappointed with his contribution of just 110 runs at an average of 22.00 so far in this series.
Jos Buttler: 8/10
With the bat: 70
Some people are so obviously comfortable at the highest level of the sport that the step up in class is hardly noticeable...and Jos Buttler is one of them.
With the bat, his two Test innings have so far produced two half-centuries of differing styles. At the Rose Bowl he was belligerent and bullying. Here in Manchester, he was watchful and patient, content to let Root to do the bulk of the scoring.
Although his keeping still needs some fine-tuning, his all-round package has effectively ended Matt Prior's international career.
Chris Woakes: 5/10
With the bat: 26*
With the ball: 0-43, 1-37
While not out of his depth in Test cricket, Chris Woakes is still waiting to make a serious contribution toward a Test match, and with Stuart Broad out of action, he had a chance in the second innings here.
The Warwickshire man managed to begin India's collapse by trapping Murali Vijay lbw, although that was his only victim in the game.
While the 25-year-old's batting remains solid—he has only been dismissed once in four Test innings—he knows he needs wickets soon in order to retain his place.
Chris Jordan: 6/10
With the bat: 13
With the ball: 0-43, 2-65
Chris Jordan will be disappointed with the number of wickets he claimed at Old Trafford, although he remains on a Test hat-trick after removing India's last two men in consecutive deliveries.
Three catches and a successful spell of night-watchman duty emphasise the athletic all-rounder's value to the team.
However, like Woakes, his main currency is wickets, and he will need to start taking them regularly to keep a resurgent Steven Finn out of the team.
Stuart Broad: 8/10
With the bat: 12*
With the ball: 6-25
Stuart Broad has produced devastating spells of seam bowling, where he runs through a side almost single-handedly on a number of occasions, and he did it again at Old Trafford to put India out of the game.
On a helpful first morning pitch, in overcast conditions, the Nottinghamshire paceman helped to reduce the visitors to 8/4 before finishing with six for 25, his 12th five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
However, things didn't go so well with the bat. After pulling two sixes, Broad got hit in the face by a ball which broke his nose and ended his game.
According to bbc.co.uk, the 28-year-old might still play in the fifth and final Test with the aid of a protective mask.
Jimmy Anderson: 8/10
With the ball: 3-46, 2-18
In tandem with Broad, Jimmy Anderson took advantage of perfect seam-bowling conditions on Day 1 of this Test to collect a trio of wickets and put India to the sword.
And despite feeling under the weather, England's premier seamer chipped in with another couple of wickets in India's second innings, including Virat Kohli for the fourth time in the series, to fast forward his side to victory.
With 376 career Test wickets to his name, Anderson needs just eight more to bypass Ian Botham and become England's leading Test wicket-taker of all time.
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