England skipper Alastair Cook is convinced his team has played “good” cricket and looked forward to the fourth Test against India as a “big” match.

“It is a big match: Always is any Test match. It’s an incredible situation we find ourselves in. We’ve played some really good cricket to get there.

“And we are desperately keen as a side to continue doing that. We have played some really tough cricket. If we want to continue doing that, we need to continue in that frame of mind,” said the England captain.

England’s 2-1 lead in the four-match series was a pleasant development for Cook. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the character we have shown from Ahmedabad.

“I said after Ahmedabad that if we could play to our potential, we have a chance to win. And to play as well as we have done in those two games hasn’t surprised me as such, but has pleased me.”

On the forthcoming contest, Cook said, “when you’re out there, you have to be focussed on what your job is and what the state of the game is, and you have to be ruthless in taking that emotion out.”

His batting philosophy was simply. “The ideal way is to be calm at the crease when you’re batting. Shouldn’t let the situation dictate the way you play.

“It’s obviously easier when you’re in good form because you are not worrying about your technique much unlike someone who is out of form. We just need to continue on the path we have shown.”

Reflecting on the state of the two teams, Cook maintained, “one of our strengths as team is always to focus on the things we need to do. That’s what good teams do.

“And when you get distracted by things outside your circle, it doesn’t help. That’s what must be happening in their side too. They will be desperately keen to ensure that their home record is not broken and we will be desperately keen to break it, so it will be a great battle out there.”

Cook noted the pitch was dry. “I saw the wicket yesterday. It looks a very dry wicket. Very close to the wicket in Kolkata with lots of cracks in it.”

The England captain signed off with praise for the Vidarbha Cricket Association. “It feels like such a long time ago that I made by debut in 2006. It’s a shame in a way that we are not playing in that old stadium.

“But the facilities here are incredible. The net practice facility is as good as any I have played in anywhere in the world. For me, personally, the other one had lots of sentimental value. But hopefully, by the end of the five days, this one will too.”

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