ALASTAIR COOK- ENGLAND WIZARD
Sir Alastair Nathan Cook CBE born on this day celebrating his 36th birthday (born 25 December 1984) is an English cricketer who played for Essex and former England captain.
England’s most favourite son made his dream test debut against India at Nagpur on 1st March, 2006 and scored 60 runs & 104. It also turned out to be a phenomenal batting year with 1,013 runs in the debut year with 4 centuries at the age of just 22 . Incidentally his career best test innings also came against India when he made 294 in 2011 at Edgbaston, Birmingham and he batted through the 2nd day of the test. His swansong at The Oval came in 2018 against India when he made a farewell half century & century in the Test. So, India turned out to be his favourite opponent.
Cook is the only batsman who made half centuries and centuries in both innings of his debut test as well as in the final test ( in 2006 & 2018 both against India)
He joined the other cricketers who have made centuries on debut as well as in their final Test. Bill Ponsford, Reggie Duff, Greg Chappell and Mohammad Azharuddin are the other four to do so.
Cook’s score of 147 runs in his final innings is the highest by any batsman in the second innings of his final test.
Cook’s 15 centuries in his team’s second innings in Tests, is the most for a cricketer. It was Cook’s 13th century in the third innings of the Test, which is also a record.
His finest moment came in The Ashes of 2010-11 when he amassed 766 runs in the series which also saw England win the Ashes after 24 years in Australia. And in the process he became the second youngest batsman to reach the landmark of 5000 test runs next only to Sachin Tendulkar and it got him the ICC’s Test batsman of the year.
Again against India he made his 23rd Test Century at Kolkata and became England’s highest test century maker and passed 7000 Test runs.
His best moment as Captain came against India when he won the test series win 2012-13 after 28 years.
And two Ashes Wins in 2013 & 2015 were the pinnacle of his career.
There were disappointments during his captaincy notably when his team was Whitewashed in the 2013-14 series in Australia.
His ODI performance was not so good as he could get only 3204 runs in 92 matches . He was never part of any World Cup match.
But there were significant disappointments, too. He led the side that was whitewashed in the 2013-14 Ashes
His obduracy was sometimes to his detriment. His unquenchable self-belief that helped turn a relatively limited player into England’s record Test run-scorer, also convinced him that he was the man to revive England’s ODI fortunes. As a result he lingered too long as captain of an outmoded side and was stung by the consequent criticism. While he led the team within an ace of that elusive global ODI title at the Champions Trophy of 2013, he was omitted from the 2015 World Cup squad, ending his limited-overs career around his 30th birthday.
His Unviable records ( for England) :-
Highest Test runs – 12,472 runs
Centuries – 33
Half centuries – 57
Catches – 175 ( in the slips – a record for a non- wicket keeper)
Most appearances – 161
Most consecutive appearances – 159
Wns as captain – 24 tests ( next only to M. Vaughan’s 26)
First batsman to score 10,000 Test runs for England