x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Cook gives equal credit to Gooch

Alastair Cook pays tribute to Graham Gooch after his century puts England in control of the second Test against South Africa.

KINGSMEAD // Alastair Cook paid tribute to batting coach Graham Gooch after scoring a brilliant hundred yesterday to put England in control of the second Test with South Africa. Cook finished a marathon innings of nearly seven hours with 118 runs and said Gooch, his coach with Essex and England, helped change his technique at the end of the English summer.

"I did an hour-and-a-half session with Graham Gooch three times a week back in Chelmsford," said Cook. "He's almost worked as hard with me at changing my technique and this hundred is a lot for him. "He saw slightly different trigger moments and slightly different back lift and it takes a while to fix. "It was just after the Ashes and I watched myself on TV so I experimented with Essex and scored two one-day hundreds. It was kind of trial and error and it's no where near finished. But it helps my confidence."

It was Cook's first century since May, and 10th in total, and allowed England to build a 43-run advantage with five first-innings wickets remaining going into day four today. "Relief when I got to a hundred best describes how I felt," added Cook. "It's a little milestone to get your 10th as well and I very much enjoyed that moment. "When the side's been playing really well and you've not contributed you feel as if you've been carried by your teammates a bit. It's nice to repay them."

Despite a difficult day, South Africa coach Mickey Arthur was satisfied with his side's bowling. "I thought we stuck to our task very well," he said. "We were really good and executed things much better than on Saturday. "I have no complaints with their efforts on a very hot day. I had be very happy if England only get 120 to 150 ahead but that will take a really big effort." @Email:sports@thenational.ae