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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second day of the third Test in Kolkata
December 6, 2012
Milestone of the day #1
When he reached 89, Alastair Cook became the youngest man in the history of Test cricket to score 7,000 Test runs. Cook, aged 27 years and 347 days, overtook Sachin Tendulkar, who was 28 years and 193 days. But neither are top in terms of innings required to reach the landmark. That record still belongs to Wally Hammond, who took 131 innings. Cook required 151, while Tendulkar required 136. Virender Sehwag, who took 134 innings, was actually the second-quickest to the landmark in terms of innings required.
Milestone of the day #2
The generous ovation Cook received for his century - his 23rd in Test cricket - spoke volumes. The crowd at Eden Gardens may have come in the hope of a far better performance from India, but they stayed to appreciate a fine performance from an Englishman. Cook has now scored more Test centuries than any England batsmen. He has also scored centuries in his first five Tests as captain; three on this tour and two in Bangladesh in 2010 when he stood-in for Andrew Strauss.
Drop of the day
Cook was on just 17 when he was drawn into prodding slightly half-heartedly at one that left him a little from Zaheer Khan and edged to slip. Cheteshwar Pujara, at first slip, seemed to have the catch under control but, perhaps fearing the ball was dying on him, unnecessarily attempted to scoop the ball up and, in the process, put the chance down. Bearing in mind Cook's form, it may prove to be the defining moment of the series.
Moment of the day
If there was one moment that defined the performance of India in the field it came when Cook, on 53, prodded forward to a delivery from R Ashwin and set off for a sharp single. Yuvraj Singh, at mid off, took an age to run to the ball, pick it up and unleash a throw so wide that it eluded not just the stumps, but MS Dhoni and first slip too, as it flew for four overthrows.
Shot of the day
There were few moments of cheer for India on the second day. But at least Dhoni raised a few smiles with the bat. Left with only the tail for company, he selflessly hogged the strike and turned down numerous chances to reach his 50. He also took the opportunity to attack, driving Monty Panesar for successive sixes over long-on. The second of them, a monstrous blow, must have cleared the long-on boundary by at least 40 yards. Pragyan Ojha did not score a single run in the 10th wicket partnership of 20 that took India above 300.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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