New dad Cook’s runs ease pain of be­ing away

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land skip­per Alastair Cook said scor­ing his ninth Test cen­tury in Asia dur­ing the drawn first Test against In­dia made the strug­gle of be­ing away from his new­born baby “worth­while”. Cook jet­ted back to Eng­land from Bangladesh to be there for the birth of his se­cond daugh­ter in Oc­to­ber, but re­turned af­ter spend­ing just 18 hours with his fam­ily’s new ad­di­tion.

But the dif­fi­cult sep­a­ra­tion was soft­ened slightly by Cook’s score of 130 as he put on 180 runs with teenage-opener Haseeb Hameed (82) in se­cond in­nings in Ra­jkot-a record open­ing stand for Eng­land in In­dia. Eng­land’s strong show­ing in the drawn Test comes as wel­come re­lief to Cook and com­pany who were tested in the two-match Bangladesh se­ries which ended 1-1. “I’ve seen my daugh­ter for 18 hours. It’s never easy and you want to try to make it worth­while by scor­ing a few runs,” said Cook Sun­day. It was left-handed bats­man Cook’s 30th Test cen­tury and fifth in In­dia, the most for any for­eign bats­man sur­pass­ing Ever­ton Weekes, Clive Lloyd and Hashim Amla who each man­aged four cen­turies in In­dia. Cook also bet­tered Jac­ques Kal­lis’ score of eight tons in Asia and Don Bradman’s tally of 29 cen­turies.

But Cook dis­missed the Bradman com­par­i­son. “Let’s not talk about Bradman who prob­a­bly did it in a third of the knocks. I’ve sac­ri­ficed a bit to come out here,” he said. “Bat­ting on top of the or­der it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to do that and luck­ily my record here is OK.” Af­ter giv­ing In­dia a scare in the first of the five Tests, the tourists now head to the south­east­ern city of Visakha­p­at­nam for the se­cond Test start­ing Thursday. — AFP

Alastair Cook

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