Cook breathes easy with burden off his shoulders

sports Updated: Jun 01, 2016 08:00 IST

CHESTER-LE-STREET: England captain Alastair Cook said the 10,000-run mark has been an inspiration to him for some time, a day after he became the youngest to cross the milestone, against Sri Lanka.

The 31-year-old Cook become the first from England to score 10,000 Test runs during his 47 not out knock as England clinched the series.

“The 10,000 has been a milestone that has driven me over the last few years,” said left-handed opener Cook.

“You get tested at the top of the order in all conditions against the best bowlers bowling with the new ball ... and I’m glad I have hung around long enough not to get dropped,” added Cook, a veteran of 128 Tests.

As an opener, Cook knows all about the need for mental resilience and he was proud to see England show similar traits.

“It was tough. The pitch died a death and was a bit more like Colombo than the Chester-Le-Street we have known in the past,” he said after England recorded their sixth victory in as many Tests at north-east county Durham’s headquarters.

Paceman James Anderson, who has spent the bulk of his Test career alongside Cook, said of his captain’s landmark: “What an amazing achievement. All that hard work, the effort, the lows and highs as well.

“He should treasure it — and to be the youngest to 10,000 is incredible.”

Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, jokingly pointed out how Cook never drinks more than four pints at the bar.

Cook confirmed the limit was still in place, regardless of the fact he’d just made English cricket history.

“Okay, I’ll be having my three-and-a-half pints,” he said. “One of them will be a (shandy) top ... as long as Jimmy buys me one.”

Sri Lanka, although well beaten again, at least restored some pride in a match where spinner Rangana Herath took his 300th Test wicket and made a fifty as well.

“Not scoring more than 100 in the first innings was very disappointing,” said Mathews.

“There were no demons in the wicket. We could have got at least 250 on that wicket to give ourselves a chance in this game.

“We talked about bringing back the fight -- the Sri Lankan fight that we’ve not had in the last couple of weeks.”

First Published: Jun 01, 2016 08:00 IST