India v England: Cook has kept tourists ‘alive’ in first Test – Gooch
India v England: Graham Gooch heaps praise Alastair Cook for keeping the tourists hopes alive on day four of the first Test
Graham Gooch says Alastair Cook’s knock of 168 not out has kept “alive” the first Test between India and England in Ahmedabad.
After the tourists were dismissed for 191 in their first innings, they faced the prospect of batting for the best part of two days to save the match.
Batting all day, captain Cook scored his 21st Test century to take England to 340-5 – a lead of 10 – and give his side renewed belief as they look to complete a remarkable escape act.
“There is a lot of fight in this England team and Alastair Cook played a real captain’s knock today,” Gooch told Sky Sports News.
“India are still in a good position but the game is alive. From the England camp’s point of view it’s been a very good day, it has been very satisfying to watch Alastair bat.”
The England captain faced 341 balls in his knock and managed to keep his concentration despite Pragyan Ojha and Umesh Yadav ripping the middle order apart with two wickets each earlier in the day.
However, Cook, 27, finally found support from Matt Prior [84no] hitting an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 141.
Cook’s century puts him level him with Andrew Strauss and behind Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott, who all have 22 England hundreds to their name.
And England’s batting coach does not see any reason why Cook and Prior cannot continue on the final day.
“I don’t think the pitch is a bad pitch at all, it is turning a bit but nothing you don’t expect in this part of the world,” added Gooch.
“I don’t think there are any demons in it and our batsmen today have shown that, they have played with a lot of application and skill.”