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Gooch: We can finish the job

ENGLAND batting coach Graham Gooch insists the team have all the qualities needed to ensure his side finish the job of winning a Test series in India.

They go into the fourth and final Test in Nagpur, starting on Thursday, with a 2-1 series lead, despite losing the first Test by 10 wickets.

Captain Alastair Cook has led from the front with three hundreds in successive Tests, culminating in his English record-breaking 23rd in the seven-wicket victory at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

So far, Cook has batted for more than 26 hours in this series and racked up almost 550 runs.

He had 190 on the board in the first innings in Kolkata when he was the victim of a bizarre run-out.

And paid tribute to the way Cook inspired England to turn the series around.

“It was a monumental achievement,” said Gooch, a veteran of three Test tours in India but on the winning side in only one match.

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

Cook’s team have the chance to become the first from England since 1984-85 to win a series here and 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 added. “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.”

 

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