While cricket has evolved like no other sport in the past decade, what with giving birth to a whole new format that threatens to challenge the existing power structure, there are still certain numbers in the game that remain special, right at the top.
A differentiator. There are good players, there are great players and there are players who have achieved immortality. Players in the 10,000-run club belong to the final category. Sunil Gavaskar was the first who broke the barrier, the first man in cricket’s existence who breached the seemingly impossible 10,000-run barrier in Test cricket, in a match against Pakistan in Ahmedabad.
Similarly, in ODI cricket, Sachin Tendulkar was the first man to score 10,000 runs, achieving the feat in 2001 against Australia. Since Sachin did so, only 10 other batsmen achieved the feat in the next 15 years in that format.
In the 29 years since Sunil Gavaskar achieved the milestone, the 10,000 run club in Test cricket remained an exclusive club, with just 10 members.
In May earlier this year, Alastair Cook became just the 11th member to score 10,000 runs, and, on day 3 of the third Test against India in Mohali, he edged ahead of Steve Waugh to enter the top-10, a stellar achievement.
It’s almost tough to imagine this list without the mercurial Australian captain. Of the players currently playing international cricket, Younis Khan, at 9668 runs scored, is the only one who could still threaten to make the list in the near future.
But given the difference in age between Cook and Younis, it is safe to assume that Cook has cemented his place in the top-10 for a long time to come.
|Sachin Tendulkar||200||15921||53.78||51, 68|
|Ricky Ponting||168||13378||51.85||41, 62|
|Jacques Kallis||166||13289||55.37||45, 58|
|Rahul Dravid||164||13288||52.31||36, 63|
|Kumar Sangakkara||134||12400||57.40||38, 52|
|Brian Lara||131||11953||52.88||34, 48|
|Mahela Jayawardane||149||11814||49.84||34, 50|
|Allan Border||156||11174||50.56||27, 63|
|Alastair Cook*||138||10931||46.91||30, 53|
By scoring 12 in the second innings at Mohali, Cook overtook Steve Waugh who had 10,927 runs from 168 matches with 32 Test tons. With 2 Tests to go in the series, Allan Border is well within Cook’s sights. In the years to come, there are people who say that Cook might even overtake Sachin Tendulkar.
But that’s a story for another day.