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We deserve to celebrate now: Gooch

Cook has led from the front spectacularly already, with three hundreds in successive Tests culminating in his English record-breaking 23rd in the seven-wicket victory at Eden Gardens. Graham Gooch, batting coach and mentor to his one-time Essex protege, knows from his own experience as a Test opener it is folly simply to predict more of the same.

If anyone, however, can simply keep churning out the runs — as he so famously did in England’s historic Ashes victory in Australia two winters ago — it is the new England captain.


England players celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli on Day Three of the second Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium recently. Pic/Atul Kamble

“It was a monumental achievement,” said Gooch, himself a veteran of three Test tours here but on the winning side in only one match. Cook’s team are already very different, and have the chance to become the first from England since 1984-85 to win a series here.

“We have come over and we know these conditions are sometimes alien to English players,” added Gooch.

“We lost the first Test — we took a bit of a beating there — and India have set up the conditions in Mumbai and Kolkata, but our guys have responded magnificently and handled those conditions.

“Let’s be fair; we’ve outplayed India in both the last two Tests. We’re in the ascendancy.”

India’s selectors have responded by dropping three mainstays of their team — Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. “India have made some changes to their squad, but we can’t worry about what they’re doing,” Gooch said.

“We have to make sure we enjoy the moment — our guys deserve to celebrate — and then when we move on to Nagpur, where we know that conditions will produce another result.

“We will try to clinch the series. We’ll be prepared for that. We’ve got to repeat the way we’ve played.”

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