Alastair Cook is one of the most prolific test batsmen in the instantaneous world of cricket because of his stubbornness to stay at the crease. England’s most-capped test player is just four matches removed from matching Allan Border’s record of playing the most consecutive tests (156).
In the summer of 1998, Cook, then 14 years old, smashed a century for Marylebone Cricket Club against his school Bedford. Cook scored a phenomenal 87.90 over the next four years, allowing him to break into Essex. Cook scored an undefeated 69 to help Essex to victory in his county debut.
He led England’s U-19 team to the semi-finals of the 2004 U-19 World Cup, scoring two tonnes in the process. His amazing run totals for Essex, especially a brilliant 214 against Australia, wowed the cricketing world.
While on a Caribbean tour for England, Cook was called up as a substitute for skipper Michael Vaughan and made his test debut against India in Nagpur in March 2006, scoring a brilliant 104. It guaranteed him a spot on the national team indefinitely.
Cook’s ODI debut against Sri Lanka three months later did not go as far as his test debut, as he was dismissed for 39.
Rise to Glory
Cook had immediate success in tests, being just the second player in history to score over 1000 runs in his first season.
Cook almost single-handedly drowned Australia on their own soil during the 2010-11 Ashes, scoring 766 runs (three tonnes and one double tonne) in five matches. Cook scored 562 runs in four matches against quality spinners during the 2012-13 India tour. Cook’s sub-continent average (53.13) is higher than his career average (46.49).
Cook has five double centuries in tests to date, the highest being 294 against India at Edgbaston in 2011. In 2011, he was named the ICC Test Player of the Year. In a single year, he went over 1000 test runs five times (2006, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016).
Cook’s ODI career has been a mixed bag, with a score of 36.41 in 92 games. Between July 2013 and April 2015, he failed to hit a three-digit average in 35 innings in tests.
Cook only converted five of his fifties into a lot between 2013 and 2016. Cook’s T20 international career was cut short after just four appearances, and he was quickly out of the side.
Since 2003, Cook has appeared for just one County team, Essex. Cook scored 667 runs in seven matches during the summer of 2017.
Cook inspired England to win a test series on Indian soil for the first time in 28 years in his first assignment as captain in 2012. He has led England to two Ashes wins at home in 2013 and 2015, but they were whitewashed by 5-0 in the 2013 Ashes in Australia.
After a test series draw with Bangladesh and a 4-0 thrashing in India, Cook resigned as captain in February 2017.
Cook, on the other hand, holds the record for captaining England in the most tests (59 tests). Cook is only second in the ranking of England test captains with 24 victories, behind only Michael Vaughn (26 victories).
Cook captained England in 69 One-Day Internationals and led them to the Champions Trophy Final in 2013. As captain of the ODI team, he won 36 games and lost 30.
In 2013 and 2016, Cook was nominated twice as captain of the ICC Test Team of the Year.
Cook has been the youngest batsman to reach 1000 runs in a test match, and the first Englishman to do so in 2016. He still holds the record for the most consecutive tonnes in his first five tests as captain.
Cook (33 years and 13 days) passed Sachin Tendulkar as the youngest batsman to cross the milestone of 12000 test runs on the fourth day of the fifth Ashes Test in 2018. However, of the six members of the 12000 test runs team, he played the most innings (275).