Sachin Tendulkar vs Alastair Cook: Statistical comparison after 161 Tests
Once strongly backed by the cricketing fraternity to break Sachin Tendulkar's record of most Test runs, Alastair Cook has just finished playing his last Test match, at The Oval against the same opposition, India, against whom he started his journey way back in 2006.
He wrapped up his career by hitting a confident century, similar to how he started his illustrious career. The Englishman, known for his solid technique, played a total of 161 Tests in a career spanning over 12 years, hitting 12,472 runs at an average of 45.35.
At the age of 33 years, Cook's retirement came as a shock to most of the people in the cricketing fraternity, but Indian fans must be very relieved by this news as he posed a great threat to the records held by Sachin Tendulkar in Tests, which once were considered an impossible task to surmount.
The southpaw, with his brilliant performances with the bat all around the globe, made everyone believe that Sachin's record was breakable. He kept on scoring runs with ease in every part of the world.
Let's take an opportunity to draw comparisons between the two batsmen's careers up to 161 Tests to see who was better, Cook or Tendulkar. Although it is baseless to compare two batsmen from different eras, as a lot of things change with time in cricket, just for the sake of records, let's analyze who was better after 161 Tests.
Overall, Sachin scored 15,921 runs in 200 Tests and 329 innings with an impressive batting average of 53.78, which is ahead of Cook by 3,449 runs in 39 Tests and 38 innings. The right-hander's magnificent career included 51 centuries along with 68 fifties. Now, let us have a look at the numbers after both played an equal number of Test matches for their respective teams.
After 161 Tests, the Mumbaikar scored a total of 12,917 runs in 264 innings. He blasted 43 tons besides notching 53 fifties to his name. Cook, as mentioned earlier, scored 12,472 runs in 291 innings with 33 tons and 57 fifties to his name. Clearly, it can be seen from the above stats that Tendulkar led Cook by 445 runs and he did so in 27 fewer innings. The Master Blaster had scored 10 centuries more than Cook while the latter had more fifties to his name.
It can be concluded that Sachin is ahead of his counterpart in terms of runs scored and centuries hit after playing the same number of Test matches. But again, no matter who is ahead, they both will be remembered as greats to have played the Gentlemen's game with true spirit and sportsmanship.