Cook tunes up with big ton against India A

England opener Alastair Cook scored a marathon 180 for the England Lions in a four-day match against the visiting India A side at New Road in Worcester.

The century was the former skipper’s 62nd in first-class cricket, and came on the heels of a 96 for Essex against Somerset at Chelmsford in the County Championship.

Cook opened the innings with Surrey’s Rory Burns, who captained the team, and after Burns fell cheaply, he carried on in the company of Nick Gubbins (73) and then Dawid Malan (74) as the Lions ended the first day of the game on a dominant 310/2 against a reasonably strong Indian attack.

A number of England’s Test specialists have been selected in the Lions team in a bid to get them some red ball cricket with the T20 Blast in full swing. Malan, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Dom Bess and Jack Leach will all be looking to both tune up and impress against India A.

Cook has endured an up and down season in four-day cricket for Essex with his successes spread out among his failures.

A similar pattern has emerged in Cook’s Test form with big scores helping to offset lean runs with the willow.

England would reach 423 all out on day two as Mohammad Siraj found a cutting edge of the second day of the match.

Ankit Rajpoot would bowl Cook to end his vigil 20 runs short of a double ton.

Young Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher (2/24) was the pick of the Lions bowlers as India struggled to 144 for 4 by stumps on day two of the warm-up match.