Most appearances in tests for England: 161
Most consecutive test caps for England: 158
Highest number of test runs for England: 12,472
Most runs by a visiting batsman in Asia: 2710 @ 53.13
Most runs scored by an opener: 11845
Alastair Cook an absolute Legend of the game and a poster boy of English cricket. What a journey it has been, life is indeed a full circle. He debuted against India in 2006 at Nagpur and scored a ton on debut and now in his final test scored his first half century of this summer. And who knew that was just a the start of a fairytale ending. A beautiful innings of 147, what a way to bid farewell to the game. A standing ovation that lasted an eternity said it all about how much he is loved and will be missed in the days to come.In this process he also went past Sangakara to become the 5th highest run getter in test history and is the only opener and the only left hander in the top 5.
As a passionate 13 year old who admired test cricket, the 2011 Test series loss in England hurt. Two main reasons for me being upset were 1) We were the world champions, we had just lifted the world cup, to me that made us invincible. 2) My batting and bowling heroes (Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan) were both performing as well as they ever did.
As the English contingent landed in Chennai during their tour, the legendary Alastair Cook who had over 10,000 runs under his belt, visited sports outlet Pavilion Sports for his best in class sports equipment and with hawk eye precision selected what he wanted. The master went to great lengths to ensure that he was always on top.
Come 2012, India’s first meaningful assignment after Rahul Dravid’s retirement, I was excited to see how the no.3 position was being filled. Mind you, Rahul Dravid had defined the no.3 position for me by then, and he was an irreplaceable legend (even today I don’t think anyone is as prolific as him at that position and could walk into any World XI/ All time XI). This series was supposed to be a revenge for the away series loss. The 1st test set the tone for the perfect revenge and also consoled a lot of Dravid fans as Pujara scored a beautiful double ton.
Alastair Cook scored a 176 in this very game and although England lost, gained a lot of respect among the Indian supporters. Cook was the captain of the side and he led and played like one. Cook went on to score a couple more hundred in the same series and played his cards in Swann and Panesar so well as to negate the so called advantage posed by the Indian turning tracks. That series made me a fan of Alastair Cook, the person, the captain, the opener.
33 is no age for a player of his class to retire. He still looks as fit as anyone in that English side.
Cook is one player who has given it all in his 12 year career with the English team. Humble as ever he has decided to go back to his roots help and guide his home side Essex after his retirement.
Thank you for the memories Cook
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