Alastair Cook's lean start to the series - 20 runs in four innings - was barely enough to constitute a problem, but the expectations of him are high after his run-scoring feats over the last 12 months. A year ago, midway through the Pakistan series, Cook was in the middle of a severe slump but this hundred was his third of the summer and fourth of the year. His century came from 213 balls and after a watchful, dogged start both yesterday evening and in the morning session today, he was scoring freely through the leg side and also with both his cover drive and cut.
Yet it wasn't just Cook's normal shots that were on show. At one stage he played a reverse sweep off Amit Mishra having noted the vacant slip area, which also cost India the chance of dismissing Cook when he slashed through the gap on 94. He didn't offer a clear-cut life, although he did inside-edge Ishant Sharma over the stumps shortly after reaching his hundred and Sachin Tendulkar didn't appear to pick up the ball at mid-on when Cook chipped in the air on 165. He appeared on track to reach his second double hundred before the close, but was content to play out time and wait for a new day.