England captain Alastair Cook remarkably revealed that his paternal sacrifice of seeing his newborn daughter for just 18 hours before having to leave for the sub-continent, was worth it after scoring a century and coming close to snatching victory on day five of the first test against India.
Cook left his daughter shortly after she was born to travel to Bangladesh and India on England's winter tour and says the sacrifice was worth making. The 31-year-old notched his 30th test hundred in Rajkot this past week as England fell just four wickets short of an unlikely victory.
Cook's knock elevated him above any other visiting batsman in India as it was his fifth century in the country, and he even paid a little tribute to his baby girl with a rocking of the cradle celebration upon reaching three figures.
He was eventually out for 130 but his contribution was significant in the context of the match.
“I’ve sacrificed a bit to come out here,” said Cook.
“It is never easy and you want to make it worthwhile and score a few runs to say that it is worth it.
“Only seeing your daughter for 18 hours, it is nice to get a few runs for her.
“I haven’t been in the greatest form. I haven’t quite found that rhythm in the nets if I’m being brutally honest and I never really had it in Bangladesh or over here.
“In a way the team situation freed me up a bit when we were pushing on and it came back a bit better, but it is nice to score runs when maybe you’re not quite at your best.”
The skipper emphasised the need for rest ahead of Thursday's second test in Vishakhapatnam and also praised the contributions of England's spin trio and young Haseeb Hameed, who became the youngest Englishman to score a half-century on his debut in Rajkot.
“Our spinners are nowhere near the finished article, but they can all be pleased how they bowled in this game and it was a tough five days," he noted.
“We did a lot of good things but could not quite get over the line. It is bloody hard work I can tell you, and we’ve got to rest up well.
“Hass was brilliant and I think we’ve found a player. He looked the real deal in the first innings and then he played brilliantly in the second. He certainly looks a good ‘un.”
England will be looking to edge ahead in the five-match series when the next game gets underway at a venue never seen before in test cricket.