Former England cricket team skipper Alastair Cook announced his retirement from Test cricket after the 4th Test against India at Southampton.
The senior England cricketer stated that the fifth and last Test at the Oval will be his final international cricket match. England won the Test series against India 3-1 with the latest win at Southampton.
Cook – England’s record Test run-scorer – has been battling poor form for quite some time now. That made him ponder on the decision to quit international cricket. The English batsman will pave way for a youngster for England’s next Test assignment. An era of brilliance ends for England with Cook’s decision to call it a day.
Cook is just 33 and many feel it was a quick decision to retire. But for Cook, it is the perfect way to end a superb career. His decision came from the fact that he feels he doesn’t have anything left in the tank. The runs dried up for the southpaw over quite some time.
A veteran of the game – Cook amassed 12,254 runs that included 32 Test tons. The opening batsman may have been out of form, but the things he achieved as a player is remarkable. It’s a well-taken decision after putting all aspects into consideration for the left-handed opening batsman.
Here we look at five of Cook’s best Test innings in a glittering career.
190 vs India, Kolkata (2012)
This was a special inning from Cook against MS Dhoni-led India at their own backyard. It was Cook’s third hundred during the first away series victory over India for a period of 27 years.
It illustrated his mastery during his golden period where he took upon Indian spinners and looked comfortable sweeping them and plundering the runs. After a 176 and 122 earlier in the series, Cook mastered his way through at the Eden Gardens. He hit 23 fours and two sixes as England won the Test by 7 wickets.
This was a special victory and a splendid innings with Root being at the centre of it all. The series victory will always be remembered as one of England’s best away performances ever.
235* vs Australia, Brisbane (2010)
Cook got off to the perfect start Down Under at the Gabba in Brisbane in the 5-match Ashes series. After a gritty 67 in the first innings, the stylish batsman spent more than 10 hours at the crease.
It was a superb hit double ton especially after Australia managed 481 in their 1st innings to take a 221-run lead over the visiting side. Cook managed to put on 188 with Andrew Straus and an unbroken 329 with Jonathan Trott.
England began their second innings 221 behind the Aussies, but Cook’s relentlessly positive innings paved the way for England to come out strong and defy the hosts. The Test was drawn but England then went on to go and notch two special victories post that.
294 vs India, Edgbaston (2011)
England first pummelled India at home in the Test series before defeating them a year later at their own backyard. This phase was Cook’s best in his 12-year Test career. He wasn’t just a player that scored runs and got to hundreds. He was the epitome of daddy hundreds.
Out of all his biggies, this daddy hundred was the epic of all of them. His 294 in England’s 710 for seven, against India was an epitome of greatness. His innings lasted seven minutes short of 13 hours. He charged at the Indian seamers through midwicket and guided them behind square on the offside.
He helped his side win the Test by an innings and 242 runs. His 186-run opening stand with Andrew Strauss laid the foundation for the big total.
118 vs Sri Lanka, Galle (2007)
This was vintage Cook and he was yet to reach the age of 23 when he smashed his 7th ton at Galle against Sri Lanka. This was a rare classy hundred to have come in the innings. Cook’s unmatched skill and stubbornness saw him save his match.
England, having been bowled out for 81, were asked to follow on 418 behind Sri Lanka with an over of day three and six more sessions to survive. The rain came in and wiped out a majority of the play, but Day 5 was still there.
England would have been thrashed but for Cook, they managed to save the game. Muttiah Muralitharan had reduced England from 200 for two to 200 for five in the space of four deliveries on the fifth morning. But Cook was there to see his side through.
104* vs India, Nagpur (2006)
On his debut, Cook travelled all the way from West Indies and made a composed and mature 60 in the first innings against India in Nagpur. He batted for close to three hours. But the moment came when he spent more than six hours to reach an unbeaten 104 in the second in which he put on 125 with Kevin Pietersen.
Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh dropped him when he was on 70, but Cook held on and defined his way with a classy Test hundred. This innings paved the way for Cook to come in and fall in love with the crease.
The capability of spending so much time was a gift very few players possessed. Cook was special since the time he put on that England shirt for the very first time.