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Cook wary of sub continent pitches; claims can beat Tendulkar's record

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SportsCafe Desk

Last Wednesday at 8:50 PM

England captain Alastair Cook has claimed that "alien" subcontinent conditions are testing for English players ahead of the team's Test series against Bangladesh and India. The batsman also talked about his much-hyped race towards Sachin Tendulkar's record but admitted that it was a tough task.

"You are testing yourself in conditions that are very alien to English players," Cook told BBC Sport stating that the heat and pressure is usually relentless.

"You don't often get the flurry of wickets you do in England or Australia, or the flurry or runs where you can change a session quickly. You can lose a lot of wickets quickly towards the end of the game, but the first three or four days of cricket is hard and normally quite even. The clue is in the name. It's Test cricket - that's why it is such a good game."

Cook recently became a father for the second time but had to report back in Bangladesh on the 17th - 18 hours after his daughter was born. The Englishman said that it didn't make him feel like a good father or husband, but said there was no point in moping about the same.

"It doesn't make you feel like the best husband and father in the world leaving only 18 hours after the birth but we are here now and you have to get stuck in. I am really looking forward to playing the game because there is no point moping around," the 31-year-old said.

Cook, who was sacked as England's ODI captain just two months before the 2015 World Cup, admitted that being dismissed from the duties of limited overs cricket has been a blessing in disguise as he gets to spend more time with his family now.

"Noticeably not playing one day cricket has lightened my load up. You get more substantial breaks which refresh you mentally a lot more than it has ever done," said Cook, who hasn't played an ODI since 2014.

"You can isolate each series or tour knowing that I have ten weeks here but January, February, March are back at home and you can do your training block or get away from it and spend some quality time at home."

Cook, who holds the record for most Test runs and most Test centuries made by an England player, said that he was proud of his achievements and still couldn't believe he had achieved as much as he has.

"I'm clearly very proud to beat a record set by an England great. There were a lot of moments where it was touch and go whether I was going to get picked. I scored just enough runs at the right period of time to continue," said the 31-year-old.

"I would never have thought in 2006 when I made my debut I would get close to breaking that... It will be a very special moment."

Cook is one of the few players who have the unique chance of catching up with legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar and his records of 200 Tests and 15,921 runs. At the age of 31, he has already accumulated more than 10,000 Test runs and his injury record is excellent but scoring over 5000 runs is still going to be a challenge. England, however, are scheduled to play 14 Tests in the next 12 months and the answer to Cook's.

"We play Tests so quickly nowadays so I could do (break Tendulkar's appearances record). The danger is looking at it," he told journalists in Chittagong.

"Seventy-odd Test matches now seems a long way away and if I am brutally honest the more times you pack your bags to leave your family at home you do question how long you can keep doing it for."