Alastair Cook’s success in Test cricket has exceeded expectations

Tags: England tour of Australia 2013 - 14, England, Australia, Alastair Nathan Cook

Published on: Dec 14, 2013

Like his opposite number, England skipper Alastair Cook is also featuring in his 100th Test in the ongoing clash at Perth.

Like his opposite number, England skipper Alastair Cook is also featuring in his 100th Test in the ongoing clash at Perth. Unlike Clarke, who was always destined for greatness, Cook was always seen as a hard trier, who battled hard to overcome his limited talent. In stark contrast to Clarke, who is a highly aggressive player and has most of the shots in the book, the English left-hander is a dogged batsman who can occupy the crease for long hours. Still, Cook’s performance in Test cricket is only a shade under Clarke, a clear demonstration that there are varied paths to success.

Playing in his 100th Test, Cook has amassed a little over 7800 runs averaging 47.2 with as many as 25 hundreds to his credit. Incidentally, just like Clarke, Cook also made his debut in India in a successful manner. In his first Test against India at Nagpur back in March 2006, Cook made 60 in the first innings and an unbeaten 104 in the second. Just like it was the case with Clarke, Cook also was exceedingly comfortable against India’s spinners. As a result, England had an impressive tour of India.

Cook carried his good form back home when he made 89 against Sri Lanka during the Lord’s Test that year. The young southpaw continued his impressive run with back to back tons in the home series against Pakistan in July that year. Cook made 105 at Lord’s and a pleasing 127 at Old Trafford in Manchester as the Pakistani spinners as well as pacers were clueless over stopping him. After scoring 116 at Perth during the end of the year, Cook continued his love affair with Lord’s when he made 105 and 65 at the venue against West Indies the following year.

While he was tasting plenty of success at home, Cook reiterated that he possessed the game to do exceedingly well on the sub-continent as well just as he did on his debut tour to India. After compiling half-centuries at Colombo in both innings of the Test in December 2007, Cook came up with a famous 118 at Galle in the very next Test. While Cook would have hoped to carry on the good form, he actually slipped, and did not register a hundred for over a year even though he was getting a number of half- centuries.

Cook stormed back to form with 94 and 139 not out against West Indies at Bridgetown in February 2009. The performance once again brought out the best in Cook the fighter as he went to register hundreds in different parts of the world. One of Cook’s finest knocks came at Brisbane in November 2010 when he occupied the crease for 625 minutes for his unbeaten 235 to rescue his side from a tense situation. His career hit a new high when he put together a marathon of 294 against India at Edgbaston in August 2011 as England dethroned India as the number one Test team.

Cook played a significant role as, under him, England beat India in India for the first time in many years. He has struggled in recent games, which has reflected in England’s struggles. The 100th get things back on track.

--By A Cricket Analyst

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