Alastair Cook’s fate has written the screenplay of his career quite carefully. Otherwise, how could he be able to make a heap of records in his last test, while he was in the negative talks for the English Cricket a few weeks earlier!
Before the start of the Oval Test, the English captain Joe Root wanted Cook to score a century in his last Test. Actually, this was not only his wish, millions of cricket fans from everywhere hoped so. Because Cook was one of the finest ‘Gentleman’ from the so-called Gentleman’s Game of Cricket.
That’s why they hoped for a remarkable farewell for this ‘Legendary Gentleman’. And Cook didn’t disappoint them either. He has made that fabulous century and forced to rewrite a lot of glorious record from cricket history.
Interestingly, Cook’s International career was begun against India as well. In 2006, he made an unbeaten ton in his debut Test’s second innings at Nagpur. With this, he gave an early message of his dominance to the cricket world. After 12 years, the ‘Chef’ astonishingly ended his international career with an epic ton against India.
With this century, Cook has been named himself to another elite list of Test cricket. Before Cook, there were only 4 Great names in that list of the centurions who had scored a ton in their first and last ever Test. The first three are Australian Reginald Duff, Bill Ponsford, Greg Chappell and the other is India’s Mohammad Azharuddin.
In addition to this list, after completing his half-century in the second innings, Cook has hinted at one of the rare records of the game. In the 141-year history of Test cricket, it was only South Africa’s Bruce Mitchell’s scored over fifty runs in every four innings of his first and last Test match. As the second player, the Englishman Cook revived Bruce’s loneliness in that list.
Cook also had the chance to become the left-hander to score highest runs in Test cricket by overtaking Sri Lankan legend Sangakkara. Cook needed to score 147 more runs in his last Test to do so. However, his recent form was doubtful about this record. But all the speculations imagined, he has now taken the record for himself. And also with his 12472 runs, he is now at number 5 of leading run scorers in Test Cricket.
Furthermore, he is the only left-hander in that most prestigious list of Test Cricket.
Cook in the record books
★ The record for most consecutive Test matches played after debut by playing 159 consecutive Tests. Second is Alan Border (153 Test Matches)
★ England’s highest run scorer in Tests: 12473. Second is Graham Gooch (8900 runs)
★ Most Test runs as an opener. Second is Sunil Gavaskar (9607 runs)
★ Reaching the milestone of 6,000 to 12 thousand runs in the shortest period of time.
★ Except for the batsmen of the sub-continent, the highest runs in the subcontinent’s ground. (2710 runs)
★ Most number of hundreds in the third innings of Test matches with 13 hundred.
This was about the record book. But Alastair Cook has lived an uncontroversial life throughout his career inside and outside of the field for more than a decade. Never looked at opponents or anyone else with disrespect. How gentle and humble this man was? It can be understood from the perception of the opponent teams.
On his departure, Indian captain Virat Kohli said, ” You’ve had a great career, for everything you have done, we wish you all the best for the future.”
Australia batsman Steve Smith tweeted, “Congratulations to Alastair Cook for his extraordinary career, unique technique, extraordinary mental strength, and a player with the intense hunger for runs. And his name will be the best in England’s history.”
Mushfiqur Rahim of Bangladesh tweeted for Cook, “What a great player …. !!!!” Respect for you brother … It was such an honour to playing against you… Finishing is also like a champion.”
The champion Cook’s teammates have fulfilled his farewell as well. They have given the best gift of futuristic legends by winning an extraordinary series victory over India in the last Test. Really, this is a real storytelling such a fairytale story!