Press Esc to close
Friday 06 March 2015
News updated at 2:29 PM IST
Weather
Max: 31.7°C
Min : 16.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

Cook enters rarified zone

Kolkata, Dec 6, 2012, DHNS:

Left-hander becomes youngest to score 7000 runs

On August 22, 1939, Wally Hammond made 139 against the West Indies at the Kensington Oval for his 22nd Test hundred for England. No English batsman was able to overtake that record for a little over 73 years.

But on a bright Thursday evening, Alistair Cook’s paddle sweep off R Ashwin took him to his 23rd Test hundred at the Eden Gardens, to set the record for most hundreds by an English batsman. In the process he also went past Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott, who also had made 22 Test hundreds.

The closest to Cook now is his team-mate Kevin Pietersen, who also has 22 hundreds in the traditional format. Cook remained unbeaten on 136 at close on second day, and on the day the England skipper, who is now 27 years and 347 days, also became the youngest batsman to amass 7,000 Test runs, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record.
The hundred on the day was Cook’s fifth successive century in Tests as captain.

These are marvelous piece of statistics for a 27-year old cricketer. But his value goes beyond those numbers. Having bundled out for a sub-200 total in the first innings of Ahmedabad Test, England needed someone to instill belief in them, a strong reminder that they could master spinners and survive in the sub-continental conditions.

There was no one more suited for that job in this English line-up than Cook – indefatigable and calm-headed. He produced a 176 in the second innings. Though that knock wasn’t enough to save England from a defeat, it was more than enough to set a lead for his colleagues.

Pietersen, who looked so edgy in Motera, transformed into that familiar, arrogant batsman in Mumbai and his genius needed the calming effect of Cook to blossom after a turbulence-filled return to the England fold.

Nick Compton was another batsman came to India with the tag of being a rabbit against spinners, and he hadn’t done anything noteworthy to dispel that label struggling in the tour games against second-set Indian spinners. But from the second innings at Motera, the Somerset right-hander was involved in stands with Cook worth 123, 66, 58 (unbeaten) and 165, denying Indians early breakthrough and driving in confidence in batsmen down the order.

Compton acknowledged Cook’s role. “Unflappable is probably a good way to describe Cook. He's tough. I've really enjoyed the time I spent out there with him.

"He's quite an easy guy to get used to. He keeps things very simple. It's just a good way to get to know someone by getting there in the middle. You can't be closer to someone really in the heat of the battle. For me, it's easy to chill out there at the other end. It becomes a big difference when you have a player of Cook's calibre at the other end,” Compton said.

But Compton soon pointed to a fearsome possibility, if you are in the opposition. "It says a lot about his hunger and determination. A lot of batsmen only really find their feet at 28, 29, and the fact that he's found his feet at a very young age and done it for so long is amazing.

“The stats speak for themselves - to be ahead of Tendulkar at this stage is an amazing achievement. Perhaps, he’s going to get more.”


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Rajnath Singh celebrates Holi with Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay and party leader Vijay Goel...

Rajnath Singh celebrates Holi with Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay and party leader Vijay Goel...

Hema Malini reacts as an MP smears Gulal on her forehead ahead of Holi celebrations...

Hema Malini reacts as an MP smears Gulal on her forehead ahead of Holi celebrations...

People sing and dance while celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu...

People sing and dance while celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours, in Kathmandu...

Narendra Modi being presented with the autographed tennis racquets of Leander Paes and Martina...

Narendra Modi being presented with the autographed tennis racquets of Leander Paes and Martina...

Widows daubed in colours chant religious hymns as they take part in the Holi celebrations...

Widows daubed in colours chant religious hymns as they take part in the Holi celebrations...

Tourists celebrate Holi in Jodhpur on Wednesday...

Tourists celebrate Holi in Jodhpur on Wednesday...

A child during Holi celebration in Alipurduar on Thursday...

A child during Holi celebration in Alipurduar on Thursday...

Stranded trucks wait for the re-opening of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, at Nandni near Jammu...

Stranded trucks wait for the re-opening of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, at Nandni near Jammu...

Tennis star and ambassador of Earth Hour 2015, Sania Mirza signs a poster during a press meet...

Tennis star and ambassador of Earth Hour 2015, Sania Mirza signs a poster during a press meet...

People watching the wreckage of the Jaguar fighter aircraft...

People watching the wreckage of the Jaguar fighter aircraft...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523