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Cook thanks captaincy

Calcutta: Alastair Cook feels the responsibility of captaincy has brought the best out of him.

“May be the added responsibility makes you more accountable to the side. That may have helped my batting... I really don’t know if it happened that way, but it’s nice.

“As a captain you always want a good start with the bat... Show that you can cope with the demands. That’s how it has happened, but I can’t put a finger on how it happened,” Cook, who has hit centuries in all his four Tests as captain, said on Tuesday.

Cook feels that the Mumbai victory has had a positive impact on the team.

“It (the Mumbai win) certainly left us a little more confident and belief that what we are doing is fine. That doesn’t mean it is going to count for anything in this match.

“What we are doing on spinning tracks is right. But we need to improve on that, and we’ll need it. We are going to need some stand-up performances like we did in Mumbai if we are to have a chance.”

Steven Finn may be available for selection but Cook wasn’t ready to reveal his cards.

“It’s great that he is now back fully fit. He’s got a little more pace than the other guys. He’s bowled well in the sub-continent, especially in the one-dayers...”

Cook extended his support to Jonathan Trott, who is going through a lean patch.

“Trott averages (about) 50 in Test cricket. He scored over 700 runs this year alone. I have seen him practise really hard. You can’t always score runs though that’s what we’d like to do. So you stay tough and the runs will come,” stressed Cook.

He was all praise for Ricky Ponting, who played his last Test on Monday.

“I can’t really sum up on what he has achieved. As a batsman alone, he’s among the best batters I’ve seen. We just could not get him out in 2006.

“He hits the ball as cleanly as I have ever seen a cricket ball being hit. As a player of fast bowling, he had all the time in the world.”

Cook said it was a “privilege” for him to have played against Ponting.

“He is an unbelievable competitor. I am very privileged to have played against him. I wish him all the best.”