Kolkata, Dec 6 (IBNS) India paid dearly for dropping England skipper Alastair Cook early in the innings as the visitors cruised to 120 without losing any wicket at tea on the second day of the third Test match at Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Cook and Nick Compton remained unbeaten with 80 and 41 respectively.
Cook, the English run machine, who has already cracked two huge centuries in this series, got a reprieve from Cheteshwar Pujara, immediately after lunch.
Cook was on 17 when he edged an outgoing delivery off Zaheer Khan towards slip, but Pujara failed to hold on to the ball.
In the process of steering England towards position of safety, Cook in company of Nick Compton broke a 61-year old record of England´s highest opening stand at this iconic venue.
The unbeaten 121 runs stand for the first wicket by the duo went past England´s previous best first wicket score of 52 against India between Jack Robertson and Dick Spooner in 1951.
Indian bowlers were once again at the receiving end and failed to exploit the condition like the visitors did on Wednesday.
( Brief score: England A Cook batting 80, N Compton batting 41, Z Khan 12-4-27 -0, I Sharma 10-4-16-0)
(Reporting by Manik Banerjee)