India v England: Alastair Cook yet to reach his peak – Graham Gooch
India v England: Graham Gooch says England captain Alastair Cook is yet to reach his peak despite recent performances
England captain Alastair Cook is yet to “reach his peak” in terms of his batting powers, according to Graham Gooch.
Cook, 27, hit his 23rd Test century in Kolkata, becoming the youngest player to reach 7,000 Test runs and England’s most prolific century maker.
Although the Essex batsmen has some way to equaling some of the records achieved by England’s Indian counterparts, Cook’s batting mentor Gooch feels his protege can achieve anything provides he remains mentally strong and free from injury.
“I don’t think he’s reached his peak.” Gooch told BBC Sport.
Cook has been in sensational form in India scoring 122 in Mumbai and 190 in Kolkata to turn around the series around for the tourists after being 1-0 behind after the first Test.
“Fitness, drive and motivation will all come into it,” added Gooch.
“But he’s got a good game at the moment and the application of that game has been exceptional in the last two matches.
“He’s well balanced and I’d like to think he could do that, but we don’t know.
“I have always said that the best years for a batsman are 27 to 35. Alastair will be 28 years of age [on 25 December] and has got all the best years in front of him.”
England batting coach Gooch, and personal mentor to Cook, feels that the batsman’s success is all down to hard work done in the training.
“Over the last six years or so he’s worked lots on his game, his technique, his knowledge and I think what you see now is a product of all the hard work that he’s put in to shape that game,” he said.
“What you saw in Mumbai was an exhibition of how to score runs on a turning wicket.”
England need to avoid defeat in the final Test to win against a nation they have failed to beat away from home for 28 years.
And Gooch is confident that the England squad understand exactly what they have to do in the final match of the four-Test series in Nagpur.
“I don’t think for one minute that the guys think the job is done,” he said. “We’re 2-1 up with one to play. We want a positive result in Nagpur.
“I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying it’s going to be a result pitch in Nagpur. If I was India I would want a result pitch to take my chances.”