Cook’s double – and he’s not done
Lunch: Third Test, day three, Edgbaston
Match score: India 224 (MS Dhoni 77; SCJ Broad 4-53, TT Bresnan 4-62); England 503-3 (AN Cook 206*, EO Morgan 66*, AJ Strauss 87, KP Pietersen 63) Full scorecard
Session score: England 47-1. England lead by 279 runs with seven wickets in hand. England win session
It’s been a rain-affected morning so far. Only 18 overs possible between two showers that forced an early lunch.
It was enough time for Cook to reach his double hundred – with a clip for two to square leg – and for Morgan to make it to 50 without too much alarm. The crowds reaction to Cook’s landmark was telling: warm, standing with a quiet admiration. It wasn’t raucous. Cook doesn’t inspire raucous.
Again, it was a session of width and discipline from the Indian bowlers, trying on the patience of Cook. But in this mood, there is only going to be one winner.
Morgan, aware that he needs to make the most of this chance to score a century, has been watchful and dispatched anything straight.
As for India, you have to feel for Kumar especially whose energy levels and consistency has not dropped. He’s got through 39 overs this innings and taken 2 for 92. This is admirable considering England are now passed 500.
The danger in this Test lurks in the morning session. On the first day, a high-risk India led by Gautam Gambhir hurtled along to 40 for 1 from the first 10 overs. It was streaky batting and that two quick wickets fell before lunch was no surprise.
Contrast England’s two mornings batting. Yesterday, Strauss and Cook scored 17 runs in the first 10 overs of the day; today Cook and Morgan added 22. The bowlers are fresh and able to sustain their discipline but the batsmen know that all they have to do is wait then cash in during the afternoon and evening.
And that’s what’s about to happen.
Edward Craig is the deputy editor of The Cricketer magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_Ed