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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 13:12 GMT
Cook overjoyed with dream debut
Alastair Cook
Cook grafted his way to three figures
Alastair Cook was in jubilant mood after becoming just the 16th England Test batsman to hit a century on debut.

The Essex opener's patient knock took almost six hours and he said: "It is unbelievable. I know it is a cliche but it really is a dream come true."

Cook took a backseat while Kevin Pietersen (87) cut loose but said he enjoyed batting with the Hampshire man.

"Give him one then sit back and enjoy the fireworks. He took the pressure off me and I could just bat," he said.

"He can do things that I would never be able to do so I've just got to play my own game and watch from the other end."

But Cook, who faced 243 balls, admitted he had changed his approach slightly as the end of the day, and a likely declaration, approached.

"There was a little bit of a change of attitude," he said.

"A case of 'right, here I go, I've got 10 overs'. I didn't change too much, I tried a couple of little heave-hos and looked for singles a bit more but it was the same kind of thing really."

I think I might have a glass of champagne, if there is any in Nagpur, and just enjoy the moment.
Alastair Cook
Cook faces a long fifth day in the field but admitted he would find the time to celebrate his achievement.

"I'm not quite sure where to go but I think I might have a glass of champagne, if there is any in Nagpur, and just enjoy the moment," he said.

Pietersen was full of praise for Cook's innings, but admitted he is not about to adapt his own big-hitting approach.

The 25-year-old has attracted criticism for some cheap dismissals in Pakistan and the first innings in Nagpur, but responded with a crucial 87 as England took the game away from India.

"At the start I was really apprehensive in terms of not getting myself out and being a lot more patient and trying to apply myself," he revealed.

"But I got to about 30 or 40 and I decided I could be a lot more positive and that's the way I play, I'm a positive player.

"Cooky though showed patience and application and that's what's needed on this wicket."

However Pietersen admitted he was a bit lucky to bat for so long after surviving a caught-and-bowled appeal against Anil Kumble.

The third umpire took a long time studying the video replays before controversially giving Pietersen not out.

"I have looked at it from a few angles and I think I am very fortunate to get 87," he admitted.

Pietersen added that he feels England still have a lot of hard work to do on Sunday if they are to claim a memorable victory.

"Hopefully we have got enough runs now. It's a question of whether we have enough overs to knock the Indians over," he said.

"It's going to take a lot for the bowlers to get 10 wickets on that wicket.

"Hopefully, the ball reverse swings for Hoggard and Flintoff, as it did in the first innings, and Monty Panesar spins it.

"There have been a few balls that have turned and had a bit of bounce. Hopefully Monty can get that out of the wicket and support the fast bowlers."

Interview: England batsman Alastair Cook

Interview: England's Kevin Pietersen

Cook century puts England on top
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