Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Is Hot Stuff with His Debut 50; Opener Gives England a Crucial Boost

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Is Hot Stuff with His Debut 50; Opener Gives England a Crucial Boost

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LLOYD

ALASTAIR COOK lifted England's spirits with a splendid half-century here today.

Making a Test debut less than 72 hours after arriving in India to answer his country's crisis, the 21-year-old Essex batsman walked into the pressure cooker of international cricket once captain Andrew Flintoff had won his first toss.

Instead of being fazed, though, 21-year-old Cook hooked his fifth delivery to fine-leg boundary for four and scarcely looked back. He added five more boundaries before completing a 113-ball half-century in 147 minutes.

England had not sent a younger opener into a Test match since Len Hutton, also 21, first appeared for his country nearly 70 years ago. But whereas Hutton started with a duck against New Zealand, Cook made sound progress.

Cook only arrived in India on Sunday and admitted he was 'jetlagged' after a trip from Antigua to Nagpur via Gatwick.

It was by no means joy all the way for the depleted tourists, though. …

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