Cook serves up another masterclass

ENGLAND opener Alastair Cook admitted he owed his team-mates a big innings, as his unbeaten century helped his side into a position of total dominance over India on the second day of the third Test at Edgbaston.

Cook struggled during the early stages of another marathon effort, but eventually weighed in with 182 runs in England’s total of 456 for 3, which leaves the home side 232 runs ahead of the hapless tourists.

After his record breaking Ashes heroics and a subsequent run-heavy series against Sri Lanka, Cook had been strangely off colour the against Indian attack, until today.

“I felt like I owed the team a little bit to be honest with you. Hopefully we can go on to win the game tomorrow,” he said.

“It was good time to have a week off do a bit of work and time away from the game helped, luckily a bit of luck came into the game today and I scored some runs.”

The stoic Essex left-hander is now closing in on two landmarks set by his batting coach and mentor Graham Gooch.

Cook is now just one Test century behind the former England captain and with so much time left in this match, he could also conceivably top Gooch’s career-best 333 for his country.

“It will be a shame when, or if, I do equal him - because he is a great player,” he said. “He’s also a friend now, and I think that’s important.

“We talk about trying to make ‘daddy’ hundreds, and I think I have managed to do that with my last few.”

Cook aside, England’s total was boosted by the 87 compiled by Andrew Strauss and brutal 63 made by a dominant Kevin Pietersen.