The run machine is back in business. But, like England in general, Alastair Cook wants more success and to be part of a team that not only completes the journey to No 1 but also then achieves even greater things.
Cook had managed just 20 runs in four knocks against India at Lord's and Trent Bridge, prompting suggestions that – for all their other failings in this so far one-sided series – the visitors had at least worked out a way to quieten England's Ashes hero.
So much for theories. Having registered the 19th Test century of his career yesterday, Cook ploughed on to an unbeaten 182 by close of play, bringing back memories of his heroics in Australia last winter.
A satisfied man then? "It's nice but let's not get carried away," he said. "I have to keep working hard. As the first two games prove, you can quite easily not score runs. After scoring only 20 runs it's just good to contribute to what, hopefully, will be a good cause."
Right now, that cause looks like winning this Test to go 3-0 ahead and take the title of world's No 1 Test team away from India. But he warned: "We are not even halfway through this Test yet. We're not thinking about No 1 at this stage, just about building as big a lead as possible."
Cook stressed that would not be the end of the journey. "We have the ethos of trying to improve every time we play," he said. "This team wants to stay together for a long time and do something very special."
Cook is now only one century behind Graham Gooch, his mentor, on England's list of Test hundred-makers – and only three behind the leaders, Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott. "It will be a shame if I do equal Goochy because he is a great player and because he's a friend as well now," said Cook.
As for India, it is hard to see how this series can get any worse. "Hopefully, we can show some character – we have done it in the past," said their vice-captain, Gautam Gambhir. "England deserve to be No 1."
Third day details
Weather Will remain dull and overcast throughout the day, with chances of light showers late in the afternoon. Max temp: 21C
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