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That was Cooky at his best, says delighted Broad

450   //    27 Dec 2017, 13:43 IST
Alastair Cook - cropped
Alastair Cook celebrates his century on day two in Melbourne

Stuart Broad lauded fellow veteran Alastair Cook after the former England skipper ended his run drought in style with a century on day two of the fourth Ashes Test.

Cook's unbeaten 104 helped the tourists reach 192-2 at the MCG on Wednesday after Australia had surprisingly crumbled from an overnight score of 244-3 to 327 all out, losing their last five wickets for 13 runs.

Seamer Broad was able to answer his critics to a certain extent, returning 4-61, but Cook delivered an even more emphatic response to those who had questioned his future at Test level.

Having failed to pass 50 in 10 innings, the opener, who turned 33 on Christmas Day, batted positively to reach three figures in the final over of the day, surviving one let-off on 66 when he was put down by Australia captain Steve Smith.

"That was Cooky at his best today," Broad told BT Sport.

"I think he's done quite a bit of work on his mental attitude and he was really positive. Some of the stroke play was fantastic.

"The great thing about having him as your opening batsman is you know he's not just happy with a hundred. He's going to come back tomorrow and want to bat very big on that pitch."

Broad also took heart from his own display after returning his best Test figures of 2017.

"Things haven't gone particularly well for me on this trip," conceded the experienced seamer, who managed just five wickets across the first three Tests.

"It was nice to come back this week and feel in a good rhythm. I worked really hard leading into this Test match."

Broad's new-ball partner James Anderson added: "We've played some really good cricket on this trip; we've just not done it for long enough.

"We know it's only part of the job that we've got to do this week. It is a great day ... obviously everyone's delighted for Cooky, but then we've got to come back tomorrow [Thursday] knowing that we've got more hard work ahead."

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