India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 2nd day December 6, 2012

Records tumble for Cook

ESPNcricinfo staff
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second day of the third Test in Kolkata

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.

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  • Shanmugam on December 7, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, Cheers. I understood that is what you were implying. My message was to the original poster. Speaking of Cook, when was the last time an England batsmen scored 3 consecutive tons away from home? Cook may be going through a purple patch but from what we have seen, he has done pretty well against all teams, sans NZ (which we play next). The last time we played NZ in 2008, Cook was out of sorts and was at the nadir of his career. I expect him to do well this time around. But, before that, we have unfinished business in this series:-) Cook will finish his career as the highest run-getter for England. The fact that he lost his wicket yesterday in unfortunate circumstances (although he has no one to blame but himself) would only steel him more for the Nagpur test. He didn't do well in Lord's and Trent Bridge last year against the same opposition but came back with a bang in Edgbaston. He still has nightmares about missing the triple and that, and the captaincy, has steeled him.

  • John on December 7, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    @Sunil Pramod Kher on (December 06 2012, 13:33 PM GMT), I do give Cook a great deal of credit, as he richly desrves, both as a captain and, particularly, as a player. I didn't actually see any play from day 1 so Cook may well have made some good decisions but he also showed signs of suffering from English conservatism. England were lucky that the India openers conspired to run Sehwag out but he could have been out a couple of times before that but for defensive fields. The way he hung back against Dhoni was a poor decision too, in my opinion. He's not the first captain to defend against a batsman while applying pressure to a tail-ender but it is never a good look. In the end it took what was, under the circumstances, a great ball from Finn and a great catch from Swann to dismiss Dhoni but things could have been much worse. Those are my gripes with Cook's captaincy from day 1.

  • John on December 7, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    @ Shan156 on (December 06 2012, 13:32 PM GMT), no it doesn't matter, which is what I was implying. There are those - although I think that the number is dwindling - that don't give Cook the credit he deserves because he doesn't, or at least hasn't, looked like a great batsman. His record speaks for itself though, and he is looking more and more the great batsman as he expands his repertoire.

  • waseem on December 6, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Indian team is low on committment and not giving 100%.. Lacks the zeal and energy to fight back from a back-to-wall situation.. Wonder if the fatigue of playing non stop cricket is getting onto them..

  • David on December 6, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    "he selflessly hogged the strike" Not sure I've heard it said like this before! Maybe if Dhoni showed some confidence in his tail enders, they would bat better - the Steve Waugh approach. Sometimes it meant Waugh was left high and dry, but in the long run the tail enders became better batsmen for it.

  • Amar on December 6, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    Congratulations to Cook. If Cook keeps playing against India, then he surely will break all Tendulkar's record.

  • vivek on December 6, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    Why do people think he doesn't look pretty? He has one of the best cover drives in the game. A certain Mr. Sunil Gavaskar was all praise about one of the copy book cover drives he played today.

  • des on December 6, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Let's not get too excited, his 5 centuries as captain came against Bangladesh and this Indian attack - the weakest Indian attack I've seen. He averaged 32.5 against SA in 2012 and 26.5 against Pakistan in 2011 - so doesn't this make him a bit of a 'flat track bully'?

  • Bob on December 6, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Well played Alastair Cook. Interesting to note that Don Bradman didn't quite make it to 7000 test runs (only 6996) but he took just 80 innings to do so. At that rate, had Bradman played as many innings as Cook, he would have scored over 13000 runs. He scored quite quickly too, at least once scoring 300 runs on his own in a single day's play.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    @jmcilhinney : Mate, re: "I wasn't overly thrilled with his captaincy on day 1" ... give him some credit. I am a patriotic Indian to the core who does not like the IPL (or even the Indian team now for a long time) and I have LOVED what Cook has been doing on this tour (or the Ashes when he was scoring by loads). I believe he handled day 1 very well - bowled Monty a bit more than usual but I think was necessary and got Ashwin out with new ball and James Anderson combination - pure genius if you ask me. I think the English cricket has found a great captain and of course player ...

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