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Alastair Cook - Five defining knocks of England’s highest Test run-getter

Hindustan Times takes a look at Cook’s five greatest innings in the longest format.

cricket Updated: Sep 04, 2018 10:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
England vs India,England vs India 2018,Alastair Cook
England's Alastair Cook celebrates after scoring his double century against Australia.(AFP)

Former England skipper Alastair Cook will hang up his boots after the fifth and final Test against India at the Oval, starting September 7. Cook — who is England’s highest run-scorer in the longest format — has struggled in 2018 and has managed to score just 298 runs in 16 innings so far. However, in his prime, Cook was regarded as arguably the best English batsman of his generation. Hindustan Times takes a look at Cook’s five greatest innings in the longest format –

104* vs India, Nagpur 2006

Cook announced himself on the biggest stage by hitting a 160-ball 60 in his first ever Test innings against India. However, he went a step further in the second essay where he slammed a majestic ton to help the visitors secure a draw. Although, Matthew Hoggard was named the Man of the Match for his seven-wicket haul in the match, it was Cook who really set the tone for his team at the top in both innings. Also, Cook became only the fifth Englishman ever to score a ton and a fifty on his Test debut.

110 vs Pakistan, Oval 2010

Over the years, Cook has made a name for himself for not just his cricketing skills, but also the mental strength that he possesses. Cook was going through a torrid time in 2010 and the runs had all but dried up from his bat. Against Pakistan, Cook had scores of 8, 12, 17, 4 and 6 in the first five innings of the series and murmurs were starting to do the rounds about his position in the side. However, Cook put all those calls to rest by hitting a majestic 110 in the second innings of the Oval Test, when the second-highest scorer in the innings was Jonathan Trott (36). Although, England lost the Test, Cook’s innings helped him seal a place for the Ashes series, which the Three Lions went on to win comprehensively.

Also Read: Alastair Cook to retire from international cricket after Oval Test against India

235* vs Australia, Brisbane 2010

The one thing that is difficult to win than the Ashes is to win an away Ashes series. England managed to do that in 2010,with Cook leading the charge with the bat, but it wouldn’t have been possible had they lost the first Test. The visitors had trailed by 221 runs in the first innings of the Brisbane Test but Cook played a blinder in the second to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat. Cook batted for 625 minutes during the course of his innings as England managed to post a mammoth 517/1 to keep the series at 0-0, going into the second match.

294 vs India, Edgbaston 2011

Cook has numerous milestones in his kitty in the longest format, but the one thing that is missing from his illustrious career is a triple ton. The southpaw came closest to achieving that feat against India in 2011. England bundled out India for just 224 in the first innings, which was way less than what Cook managed during England’s first innings. But the best part about Cook’s innings was that he had scored just 20 runs in the first two Tests (four innings) and with the help of his double ton, England dismantled India by an innings and 242 runs.

243 vs West Indies, Edgbaston 2017

There are multiple instances in Cook’s career where the star opener roared back to life after failing to contribute in successive innings and one such example was against West Indies in 2017. Cook was in search of a big score for quite sometime as after scoring 130 against India in Rajkot, he went 16 innings without a century. West Indies then suffered the brunt of Cook’s undoubted quality in the longest format as he slammed his third-highest score during England’s first ever day-night Test. England went on to win the Test by a huge margin of an innings and 209 runs.

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 19:11 IST