Alastair Cook announced his decision to step down as England cricket team’s (Test) captain on Monday.
Having led the team in 59 Test matches, he holds the record for most matches as captain and has overseen 24 victories — second highest for any English Test captain.
Remarkably, he also holds English Test records as highest scorer with 11,057 runs, most appearances with 140 Tests and most number of centuries having scored 30 tons.
Here is a look at England’s best moments with Cook as Test captain:
Stability and first series win
Alastair Cook took over as Test captain in August 2012 around the same time Kevin Pietersen returned to the team. Pietersen had been dropped under controversial circumstances and his reinstatement had caused some discord among the English ranks. Cook oversaw the transition phase quite smoothly, even leading England to 2-1 Test series win over India — their first in 27 years on Indian soil. Cook scored three centuries in the series.
- English top scorer: In May 2015, during the first Test of the series against New Zealand, Alastair Cook surpassed Graham Gooch’s 8,900 run mark to become England’s top scorer. In the second Test, he became the first English batsman to cross the 9,000-run mark in Test cricket.
- Youngest to 10,000: Cook became the youngest batsman to score 10,000 runs in the second Test against Sri Lanka in May 2016. At 31 years and five months of age, he became the youngest player to achieve the feat, breaking the record of the great Sachin Tendulkar by five months.
First Ashes win
In his first series as Ashes captain, Alastair Cook guided England to a 3-0 Ashes victory on home soil in 2013. It was England’s third successive series win against Australia, a feat they achieved for the first time in 22 years.
With pressure mounting over his captaincy in mid-2014, Alastair Cook answered his critics by smashing 95 in the third Test against India at Southampton. The innings set up England’s bid to win the series, which they eventually did by beating India 3-1. Cook led by example to dispel any doubts over his leadership.
Second Ashes win
England were the underdogs as Alastair Cook led them into his second Ashes series as captain in 2015. The side managed to grind out a 3-2 series win. Incredibly, Cook’s team managed to bowl out the Australia side for just 60 runs in the first innings of the fourth test.
Beat the top team
England were touring South Africa in 2015-16. The Proteas were No 1 in Test rankings at the time, proving a huge challenge for Alastair Cook and his men. But England managed to win the series 2-1 to knock them off their perch. It was England’s first away series win since 2012.