England refocus on series finale

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England travel today from Kolkata to Nagpur, determined to finish what they have started in their two famous back-to-back Test victories over India.

Alastair Cook's tourists will take a 2-1 lead into the final Test, knowing they are on the verge of modern cricket history.

If they can beat India again in Nagpur - a draw is highly unlikely, with the hosts sure to order a spinners' pitch to give them a chance of levelling the series - England will have achieved what so few before them have.

It was back in the 1980s, against the then all-conquering West Indies, that India last lost three successive Tests at home.

England have not won a series here since 1984-85, and no tourists have done so for the past eight years.

After their seven-wicket win, on the back of the captain's own record-breaking 23rd Test century, Cook's men took the opportunity last night to celebrate their success so far - but as of now the hard work will recommence.

Batting coach Graham Gooch, a veteran in his playing days of three Test tours to India, knows from his own experience how difficult it is to win here - and he knows too that Cook's England will not easily squander what they have earned.

Graham Gooch

England are well aware they have plenty of hard work ahead of them in the fourth and final Test against India. "I don't think for one minute that the guys think the job is done," said batting coach Graham Gooch

"I don't think for one minute that the guys think the job is done," he said.

"We're 2-1 up with one to play. We want a positive result in Nagpur.

"I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying it's going to be a result pitch in Nagpur. If I was India I would want a result pitch to take my chances."

The last two Tests were played on surfaces which gave the bowlers something to work with - Mumbai, in particular, for the spinners while reverse-swing was the major weapon for the seamers at Eden Gardens.

Gooch has no argument at all with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's preference for pitches which provide some help from the outset for the bowlers.

"The things MS Dhoni has said after Mumbai, I totally agree with," he said.

"He wants to play on pitches that produce results, and I don't have a problem with that.

"I'd rather have a pitch that produces a result that one that produces 600 v 600. We know it's likely to be a pitch where it will be tough for the batsmen, with the ball turning.

"But after our last two performances, we can go there with confidence - and we've got to make sure we bring our A game to Nagpur."

England certainly appear to boast the right man to ensure focus is maintained.

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

Gooch, mentor to his one-time Essex protégé, knows from his own experience as a Test opener it is folly simply to predict more of the same.

Alastair Cook

Gooch describes England captain Alastair Cook, a centurion in each of the first three Tests, as "an impressive young man, mature beyond his years."

All runs in international cricket are hard-earned, a fact personified in Cook’s renowned diligence and determination every time he goes out to bat.

If anyone, however, can simply keep churning out the runs - as he so famously did in England’s historic Ashes victory in Australia two winters ago - it is the new captain.

“English cricket is lucky to have a player like him at the head of its team,” said Gooch.

“He knows exactly what he wants and he knows how to go about it. He works very hard - and, generally, that's a winning combination.

“To estimate that someone will have the sort of record and status he has in the game at the age of 27 – 28 on Christmas Day – is difficult to gauge.

“But he’s always been an impressive young man, mature beyond his years.

“From the time he scored his first Test hundred, (even) from the first time he came into the Essex professional set-up, he has been very mature about his cricket.

“He works hard at his game. We’ve spent hours and hours in the nets over a long period of time – and credit to him, he’s the one who deserves to take the plaudits.”

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