Confidence and self-belief are naturally bolstered after a famous second-Test victory in Mumbai, but the captain warns there is no room for satisfaction at what England have so far achieved. They will begin the third match of four with the score level at 1-1, and many beginning to sense Cook’s team could become the first from England to win a series in India since 1984-85.
“It’s given us a lot of confidence, certainly,” Cook said of last week’s success. “It’s given us some belief that what we’re doing is the right stuff, but that doesn’t mean it’ll count to anything when it comes to this game.”
England have been bombarded with confusing chatter and newsprint about the likely pitch conditions here, where it seems another used surface may offer up a challenge more akin to the one they fluffed in the first Test in Ahmedabad than the one passed in Mumbai.
It will doubtless pose a tough test of Steven Finn’s credentials, in the likely event that - after recovering from his thigh injury - he replaces the off-colour Stuart Broad as one of just two front-line seamers.
“All the training we’re doing, all the practising we’re doing against spin, is the right stuff,” Cook said. “We hope, this week, we can continue that improvement. We’re going to need to if we’re going to win. We’re going to have to have some other outstanding performances, like we did in Mumbai. I don’t think you can ever be satisfied.”
While the captain himself has made successive hundreds, and he and Pietersen are level on 22 as England's most prolific all-time centurions, runs have been in short supply on this tour from the remainder of the top six.