England skipper Alastair Cook conceded he was running out of chances after a dip in form and ten successive Test matches without a win. (James Anderson: The warrior who emerged stronger after Jadeja controversy)
England were then subjected to a crushing defeat at Lord's and it raised immediate questions on Cook's captaincy and even his place in the team. However, riding on luck and some insipid Indian bowling Cook led England's revival with a gritty 95, as the hosts drew level in Southampton. That was followed by another emphatic win at Old Trafford, giving Cook breathing space from the growing list of critics home and away. (India were awful, says Geoffrey Boycott after Manchester disaster)
"That (the defeat at Lord's) was a tough moment for us as a side. You run out of chances in my position but I had a lot of confidence in the guys. It was about hanging in there and it is amazing how quickly it can turn," Cook was quoted saying by the Telegraph. (India flummoxed by Moeen Ali: Lack of intent or dearth of talent?)
England's fortunes had dipped dramatically late last year in the Ashes in Australia. Months after defeating the Aussies at home, Cook lost form as did other senior batsmen. Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell andÂ Matt Prior struggled to score while Jonathan Trott, the reliable number three, flew back home to recover from stress-related issues. (Kohli, Pujara lose touch with technique as India suffer in England)
Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who had been one of the architects of England's revival over the last three years, suddenly retired, leaving a gaping hole in the English set-up. (Poor show by India shocks one and all)
However, backed by strong performances from the young brigade ofÂ Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Jos Butler besides big runs from Bell and key wickets from James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England are now back to winning ways, leading the five-match series 2-1, with one match to be still played. (England upbeat about Broad's chances despite broken nose)
"We stuck together well as a side in the tough moments this summer and the younger guys in the side made it easy to do that. It was a matter of believing. We felt if we kept doing stuff it would turn but the longer we did not win games of cricket the harder it would become," said Cook, who had appealed for more resilience from his players, after the shock defeat at Lord's.
Victory at the third Test at the Rose Bowl has given England the much-needed impetus after failing to win a match in the longest format for the better of a year. An innings win in Manchester followed and it looks like a new England unit is quickly shaping up to dominate world cricket again.
With revival of team fortunes and personal form, Cook is rightfully eyeing a series win when the teams play in the fifth and final Test at the Oval.
"It is why the win in Southampton last week was massive for us but the question was whether we could do it again here. We have just got to keep going now. We would love to finish India off at the Oval."