Alastair Cook credits county stint for good form

Kolkata: England`s batting mainstay in the ongoing Test series against India, captain Alastair Cook has credited his fantastic form to a stint in county side Essex after being dropped from the limited-overs team in 2008-09.

"When I got left out from England one-day side, and played a lot of one-dayers for Essex, T20Is...It forces you to expand your game. I was forced to take on new shots and realising that I could play them and with confidence to play them in a four-day or five-day game.

"I have worked very hard alongside Goochy (batting coach Graham Gooch)," Cook, who has 500-plus runs in the series, said.

In a record-breaking innings of 190, Cook became the leading English centurion with 23 hundreds and also became the youngest to join the 7,000-club in the third Test that concluded on Sunday.

Cook said the feeling had not sunk in yet.

"I obviously got a little lucky early on but we said, on that wicket if we can bat as long as we can, we`ll give ourselves a great position, and luckily I went on to get a big hundred," he said.

"In the beginning of the tour, we said the guys who get in must go big. It`s tough to get in but once you do, you get that rhythm and it`s about maintaining that rhythm.

"Yes, scoring the 23rd hundred was a very good moment for me. It`s been a very stressful last couple of days. Personally, I want to keep scoring runs. Hope I can do it one more time," he added.

On becoming the leading English centurion, Cook said, "I wouldn`t have known what the record was. It`s great to have contributed to an amazing couple of games. Hopefully I can do it one more time."

Cook was run out in a bizarre fashion ending his majestic innings 10 runs short of a double century.

"There will be a video somewhere for the rest of my life. I just had a brain failure. I was walking back and saw this ball coming back. My first reaction was to flinch when most people will have put there bat in...Realisation that I had done it was more embarrassing."


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