Kolkata Test: Capt Alastair Cook smashes ton, embarrasses India

Ind vs Eng

The Indian bowling proved to be pedestrian with an out of form Ishant Sharma providing a lot of loose deliveries.

Even the spinners, especially off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, looked woefully out of form while left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha also toiled without much success.

While Zaheer had figures of none for 48 from 16 overs, Ishant gave away 35 runs in his 15 wicketless overs.

The sad part about Ishant's bowling was lack of rhythm as he also overstepped on couple of occasions.

Ojha however gave India their only breakthrough in the final session of the day when Compton was given out leg before and the decision by New Zealand umpire Rod Tucker looked to be a dubious one.

After being put down at first slip by Pujara, Cook did not have any trouble negotiating the Indian attack as he raced to his 50 in the second session.

Dhoni kept on rotating his bowlers but the English openers put on 100 partnership before tea, their second century-plus opening partnership in the series.

Just after tea, Cook drove Sharma past point for three runs to become the youngest to join the club of 7,000 Test runs.

The record-breaking 23rd century was then on cards as Cook completed it with a huge smile and punching in the air before acknowledging the feat to the present 1,000-odd English Barmy Army in the B-Block of Eden Gardens.

Cook displayed all the shots in his armoury bisecting the field with ease and his cover drive off length deliveries bowled by Zaheer Khan were a treat to watch.

Zaheer changed ends and tried to use the reverse swing but the England captain was equal to the task as he negotiated everything successfully.

Earlier, it was the 27th half-century by Dhoni that helped India cross the 300-run mark but the skipper didn't get much help from lower-order.

... contd.

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