Alastair Cook became England's most prolific Test centurion when he completed his 23rd - and third in successive matches - at Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Cook (101 not out) is also the youngest batsman in history to 7,000 runs, a milestone he passed with his 88th on the second afternoon of the third Test as he and Nick Compton consolidated England's advantage over India.

By the time Cook reached his hundred, a fifth in consecutive Tests as captain dating back to his time as Andrew Strauss' deputy in Bangladesh almost three years ago, the tourists were 156 without loss in reply to 316 all out.

Cook's latest hundred inches him one ahead of team-mate Kevin Pietersen - as well as three other greats in Geoffrey Boycott, Wally Hammond and Colin Cowdrey.

He is still only joint-20th in an all-time list headed by India's own Sachin Tendulkar on 51, but at the age of 27 should have many years ahead of him to move up the table.

Compton was finally out for 57, lbw to Pragyan Ojha, shortly after Cook had reached three figures, although umpire Rod Tucker appeared to shake his head before raising his finger.

England's openers needed a little fortune to go with their skill, against pace and spin, as they turned a fourth 50 stand in succession into their first century together.

Cook was dropped on 17 when he edged Zaheer Khan low to slip, where Cheteshwar Pujara could not hold the catch.

Cook duly reached his 179-ball century with a leg glance - having hit one memorable straight six as well as 14 fours.