CHESTER-LE-STREET (England) (AFP) - Essex duo Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook both paid tribute to watching mentor Graham Gooch after they each scored centuries on the first day of the second Test against the West Indies. Left-handed opener Cook (126 not out) and No 3 Bopara (108) shared a stand of 213 which was the backbone of Englands total of 302 for two at the Riverside here on Thursday. Boparas innings meant hed become only the fifth Englishman, and first since former Essex and England captain Gooch against India in 1990, to score hundreds in three successive Test innings. I felt good from the minute I went in. Im seeing it quite nicely, said Bopara, whose Test-best 143 at Lords last week sent England on their way to a 10-wicket win which put them 1-0 up in this two-match series. Graham Gooch talks about when you are in good nick, make the most of it. Told hed equalled one of Goochs landmarks, Bopara said: I wouldnt put my name in the same sentence as him, hes done a lot for me, a lot for cricket. Bopara added hed received a few words of advice from the maestro, a world-class opening batsman in his time, before play got underway. He popped into the nets this morning and said 'keep playing straight, no better place to hit the ball then down the ground, theres no fielders there. Boparas current purple patch is all the more impressive as early in his now six-match Test career he made three straight noughts away to Sri Lanka in December 2007. Sri Lanka was probably the toughest point of my career, Bopara said. I found ways to keep getting out but not once did I think I was never going to play Test cricket again, it drove me on to come back. And again a pep talk from Gooch gave Bopara a boost. Graham said to me 'I got a pair in my first Test (against Australia at Edgbaston in 1975) but you will come back from this. It was nice to hear that from such a legendary batsman. Cook too said Gooch had been a major influence. Goochies been amazing for me and Ravi, the amount of hard work hes put in. When I was 18 he would be throwing at me from 8.30 in the morning for an hour. With his record, for him to do that was something special. Cook was also especially pleased to share such a large stand with fellow 24-year-old Bopara. Its just a great day to bat with Rav. We played Under-14 cricket together and now to be playing a Test match together and scoring hundreds, its put a smile on my face.The build-up to this match was overshadowed by a difference of opinion between West Indies captain Chris Gayle, who made clear his preference for Twenty20 events such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), and Strauss who said Test cricket was still the pinnacle of the sport. Bopara, who like Gayle, featured in the IPL before this Test series started, said: Playing in the IPL was amazing, a great experience, and Id like to do it again. But the feeling I got at Lords and here, theres no better feeling. As a young boy I always wanted to play Test cricket, my heroes did amazing things in Test cricket and thats what I wanted to do. However, only a crowd of some 5,000 - low by English standards for the first day of a Test - were at the Riverside to see the Essex duos centuries. Bopara though was not downhearted. There wasnt the noise there was at Lords but, inside, it means a lot to me to get a Test hundred for England. West Indies coach John Dyson admitted it had been a difficult day for his attack but took heart from the way in which Lionel Baker bowled Bopara shortly before stumps. It was a very flat wicket and the batsmen batted very well. Weve just got to keep going, trying to bowl in the right areas, the former Australia opening batsman said.