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Top guns: James Anderson praises England pack as India wilt

JAMES ANDERSON paid tribute to the whole bowling attack after the hosts wrapped up a massive win over India in the fifth Test at The Oval.

Alastair Cook and England celebrate winning the Test series against India. Picture: Reuters
Alastair Cook and England celebrate winning the Test series against India. Picture: Reuters

The tourists were subjected to a second straight loss inside three days as England sealed a 3-1 Investec series success with an innings and 244-run win, Chris Jordan picking up a career-best four for 18 after Joe Root's brilliant unbeaten 149.

Anderson, who was named man of the series, moved ever closer to Ian Botham's all-time England record Test wicket-taking tally of 383 with figures of two for 16 taking him to 380, and afterwards was keen to spread the praise to Stuart Broad, Jordan, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali.

Of his own form, he said: "It's right up there . . . it's the best I've probably bowled, yeah. The way the whole group has bowled has been outstanding since Southampton.

"We've got on top of their batsmen and not let them get back in any of the games we've played. We've created pressure non-stop. That's a credit to all - not just the four seamers, but Moeen Ali as well."

On what had changed since the loss at Lord's, he said: "We decided to concentrate not on plans for particular batsmen, but on what we do well - hitting the top as much as we could, challenge their outside edge, challenging their forward defence. And as we've gone on through last three Tests we've improved on that."

Led by Joe Root, who completed his century, England plundered 101 runs in rapid time on the third morning and they picked up the wickets of openers Murali Vijay and Gautam Gambhir to leave India tottering on nine for two at lunch. Vijay was trapped lbw by Anderson for two and Gambhir was run out by a direct hit from Woakes after he was sent back by Cheteshwar Pujara.

The procession continued after an interval extended by a rain delay. Pujara edged a catch to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler off Anderson before Ajinkya Rahane was brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving Gary Ballance at third slip off Broad and MS Dhoni, so often India's saviour in this series, was caught by Sam Robson at short leg off Woakes to leave India in disarray at 46 for five.

Virat Kohli edged Jordan to Cook at first slip and Ravichandran Ashwin was caught by Ian Bell at second slip off Jordan after Ballance had pushed the ball up. Bhuvneshwar Kumar edged Jordan straight to Bell and Varun Aaron failed to beat Moeen's throw and was run out trying to make a needless second. Jordan had the final say when a vicious short ball forced Ishant Sharma to loop a simple catch to Moeen, leaving Stuart Binny 25 not out and the top-scorer in the innings.

"The last three tests, we were not up to the mark. We never competed," Dhoni said. "Today's batting was a reflection of a loss of confidence. It's disappointing. Right from the start, our batsmen haven't performed."

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