Five golden mo­ments of Eng­land’s Cap­tain Cook

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

ALAS­TAIR Cook will be­come Eng­land’s most capped Test player today when he leads his team against Bangladesh in the first Test in Chit­tagong. Here are some of Cook’s career high­lights:

The un­for­get­table de­but (March 2006)

Cook made his de­but for Eng­land dur­ing the 2006 tour of India, a sur­prise call-up af­ter Mar­cus Trescoth­ick dropped out for per­sonal rea­sons. The 21-year-old had been on tour in the Caribbean with the Eng­land A team but he was thrown straight into the first Test squad in Nag­pur, where he scored 60 and then an un­beaten 104 in a sen­sa­tional de­but. Wis­den re­ported that Cook pos­sessed “a com­pact tech­nique and tremen­dous tem­per­a­ment” that has stood him in good stead ever since.

Glory down un­der (Nov-Dec 2010)

Hav­ing suf­fered a white­wash at the hands of the Aussies in the early years of his Test career, Cook was elated as Eng­land pul­verised their old ri­val on their home turf dur­ing the 2010 Ashes. He be­gan the se­ries by scor­ing an un­beaten 235 in The Gabba, so of­ten the grave­yard of Eng­land’s hopes, prompt­ing The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald to quip that “Aus­tralia have been cooked and served up for sup­per”. He then hit 148 in the se­cond Test and 189 in the fifth match in Syd­ney, av­er­ag­ing more than 127 for the se­ries.

The high­est score (Aug 2011)

Hav­ing to­talled just 20 runs in his first four in­nings, Cook went into the third Test at Edg­bas­ton of the 2011 se­ries against India in need of a big score. To say he de­liv­ered is an un­der­state­ment. His in­nings of 294 was the high­est by an Eng­land bats­man since Gra­ham Gooch scored a triple cen­tury 21 years ear­lier. Cook hit 33 bound­aries dur­ing a 773-minute stay at the crease as Eng­land crushed India by an in­nings and 242 runs. The end was ag­o­niz­ing as Cook, need­ing just one big hit to reach the 300-mark, was caught by Suresh Raina while chas­ing af­ter an in­nocu­ous wide de­liv­ery from Ishant Sharma.

Marathon in the Gulf (Oct 2015)

Eng­land al­most pulled off a dra­matic vic­tory on the fi­nal day of the first Test against Pak­istan in Abu Dhabi with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in­dulging in a slog-fest be­fore bad light in­ter­vened. But the stage had been set by Cook in the first in­nings as he spent an as­ton­ish­ing 835 min­utes at the crease as he com­piled a painstak­ing 263 – the third-long­est in­di­vid­ual in­nings in Test match his­tory. His for­mi­da­ble pow­ers of con­cen­tra­tion left many ob­servers in awe. “It is just an un­be­liev­able will to con­cen­trate for that long,” said Eng­land coach Trevor Bayliss. “His pow­ers of con­cen­tra­tion are just su­perb.”

The 10,000-run club (May 2016)

Cook be­came the first English bats­man to score 10,000 Test runs dur­ing the se­cond Test against Sri Lanka at The River­side in Durham, reach­ing the land­mark with a four through mid-wicket off Nuwan Pradeep. At 31 years and 157 days, he was also the youngest, beat­ing the record of India great Sachin Ten­dulkar who was 31 years and 326 days when he scored his 10,000th Test run. In­dian bat­ting great Sunil Gavaskar, who was the first player to breach the 10,000 mark, backed Cook to beat Ten­dulkar’s record, point­ing out that Cook “has age on his side” and that Eng­land play more Tests than any other na­tion.

Photo: EPA

Cap­tain Alas­tair Cook greets fans with the Npower tro­phy af­ter Eng­land’s draw with Aus­tralia in the fifth Test of the 2013 Ashes se­ries on Au­gust 25.

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