A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Graham Gooch brands Alastair Cook’s ‘fighting’ century in Ahmedabad as the best of his career so far

Gooch believes Cook has established himself as one of the greatest batsmen England have ever produced

England batting great Graham Gooch has branded Test captain Alastair Cook’s “fighting” innings of 176 against India during the first Test at Ahmedabad as the best of his international career to date.

Cook and wicketkeeper Matt Prior were the only two batsmen to resist India, but could not accomplish the task of saving the Test as the Indians went on to win by nine wickets.

Gooch was inspired by Cook’s performance, stating that it showed his heart, passion and desire to lead by example during his first Test series as captain of the national team.

“When you have been in the game as long as I have you have seen most things – poor shots, poor decisions, and bad mistakes but then sometimes you see the opposite like we did today,” The Telegraph quoted Gooch as saying. “It was great commitment from our guys, fighting spirit and belief in their ability. Alastair led the way as captain, which will do him a lot of good. By putting that score on the board he showed what he and the team are capable of.

“He played an amazing innings for the team and did what was necessary when you are in charge. It was as good an innings I have seen him play. He was under great pressure after poor first innings performance, not from him, but by the team generally.”

Gooch also noted that Cook had lifted his game to another level and proved his critics wrong about his struggles to play spin bowling.

“A lot of people have physical skill but you also need skill between the ears,” Gooch added. “This lad has had a great temperament from when he started. When he first came here [India] to make his Test debut, he scored hundred in Nagpur and he proved even then the priceless skill of knowing your strengths at a young stage in your career.

“I think that was as good an innings as I’ve seen him play, because he was under great pressure after a poor first-innings performance from the team.”

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