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 south-eastern city of Visakhapatnam for the second Test starting Thursday.