Eden Test: Cook guides England to 216/1
A sparkling knock of unbeaten 136 runs by captain Alastair Cook guided England to fight back and post 216 runs for the loss of one wicket in reply to India's first innings total of 316 runs at the end of the second day of th third Test match at Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
The tourists are exactly 100-run short of India's first innings score of 316 runs all out.
Cook, who has already cracked two huge centuries in the series, made India pay dearly for letting him off when he was on 17.
India got an opportunity to cut-short England skipper's vigil at the crease immediately after the lunch, but Cheteshwar Pujara gave the English player a life by failing to grab the ball that flew towards slip after Zaheer Khan's delivery took the outside edge of his bat.
With rub of green going in his favour, the right-hander started playing with more freedom and soon became the youngest batsmen to score 7000 runs in Test, surpassing India's Sachin Tendulkar.
The 27-year-old blasted his third ton of the series when he paddle swept R Ashwin for three. This was Cook's 23rd Test century, which is highest by any English player.
On way to his unbeaten 136, Cook became the highest run getter by an England captain on an India tour, breaking the 50-year record set by Ted Dexter.
His fluent innings was studded with 19 elegantly timed boundaries and a huge six.
Cook had an able partner in form of Nick Compton at the other end during his knock.
The England opening duo forged an 165-run stand, which was highest by England at this venue.
They broke 61-year-old record held by Jack Robertson and Dick Spooner.
Indian bowlers were once again taken to task by the visiting batsmen who made them look innocuous on flat Eden track.
On the same surface where James Anderson and Monty Panesar terrorized the Indian famed batting line up, hosts bowlers failed miserably to extract any life from it.
Pragyan Ojha brought some cheers to the 20,000 odd Eden crowd, most of whom were home-bound, towards the fag-end of the day by trapping Compton (57) in front of his stumps.
Jonathan Trott (21) was giving company to his skipper when the stumps were drawn for the day.(EOM)