India v England: Alastair Cook hails tourists’ character after third Test win

India v England: Alastair Cook hails the tourists' character after a seven-wicket victory in the third Test in Kolkata

alastair cook
Alastair Cook eventually fell for 190 on day three Photo: Back Page Images

alastair cook

Alastair Cook hailed England’s “character” after the tourists wrapped up a commanding seven-wicket victory over India in the third Test on Sunday.

Cook’s men were reduced to 8-3 as they chased 41 in their second innings to move 2-1 ahead in the series, and Nick Compton and Ian Bell got England over the line.

The win caps a tremendous turnaround after the tourists had suffered a demoralising nine-wicket loss in the first Test at Ahmedabad.

“I can’t fault the character they have shown since Ahmedabad,” Cook told BBC Sport.

“I can’t praise the lads enough, but we have to keep our feet on the ground because we’re here to win the series.”

“It was a great performance level for four and a half days. Everyone performed from one to 11.

“To keep India to 300 on that wicket was a fantastic effort and to get six wickets in that session really won us the game. It was a credit to the hard work they’ve put in that they can perform in these conditions.”

Cook also hit his record 23rd England Test century in Kolkata despite being eventually ousted for 190 in bizarre circumstances.

“I just wasn’t thinking and before I knew it I was out,” added Cook. “It was a frustrating way to go, but if someone offers you 190 before the game you take it.

“The record means a huge amount. I was probably more emotional when I got the 22nd century, but it means a lot to be on top of that list.”

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