London [UK], Nov. 14 (ANI
): England captain Alastair Cook
has insisted that his team's performance in the drawn first Test of the five-match series against India was a "proof" that they can compete against the No. 1 ranked team this season.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on a defiant 49 in a tense final session to deny England victory in the opening Test played at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday.
"We got ourselves in a position to force a win and did not quite get over the line but it was a good Test match and everyone can be proud of how they played.We proved to everyone else we can play," Cook was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Cook notched up his 30th Test hundred and declared his team's second innings on 260/3 in the second session on Day Five, to set Indian an improbable target of 310.
Defending the timing of his fifth-day declaration, the England skipper said, "The reason we did not [declare earlier] was that I didn't want to give India a sniff. Batting just to survive is a lot different from chasing 260-270. On the same wicket we were 180 for nought earlier. It was not a minefield. I am sure a braver person would have set 240 but I thought it was a fair declaration in the first game of a series."
The left-hander also heaped praise on debutant and his opening partner Haseeb Hameed, who fell short 18 runs short of becoming England' youngest ever centurion in the morning session.
"He's an unbelievable player. He was pushing me close to retirement when we walked off yesterday: a 19-year-old not only out-batted me but scored quicker than me and made it look easier than me. So it was a bit of a down-to-earth moment. But he's a find, isn't he? We had no doubt he could play and he's certainly shown that." He said.
The 31-year-old England skipper has now hit five centuries in India-the most by any visiting batsman in the country.
Cook's 130 in the third innings saw more records fall to the left-handed opener, with it his ninth Test century in Asia-surpassing the record set by South Africa's Jacques Kallis as a visiting player on the continent.
The two sides will now lock horns in the second Test from November 17 in Visakhapatnam and it would be England, not the host, who would be high on confidence. (ANI