Stats: Alastair Cook breaks Allan Border's all-time record for most consecutive Tests
Surviving the myriad ravages of time, Tests continue to hold a special place in the hearts of cricket connoisseurs. For they remain the ultimate embodiment of perseverance. Perhaps, the underappreciated virtue of durability can be perceived as the format's cornerstone.
When he walked out to the sprawling turf at the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds on Friday to face Pakistan, Alastair Cook managed to etch his name in the annals of the sport's illustrious history. The veteran England opener has now eclipsed Allan Border's longstanding record of most consecutive appearances in Test cricket.
Featuring in his 154th successive Test match, Cook went past the previous mark of 153 consecutive appearances set by Border. The England opener's ongoing streak began during his very first season at the highest level.
Upon making his debut against India at the VCA Ground in Nagpur during March 2006, Cook missed the third Test of the series in Mumbai due to a stomach illness. More than 12 years later, it remains the only match that the left-hander has missed in his glowing Test career thus far.
Cook's record sequence started during May 2006 in the famous Lord's Test against Sri Lanka. Coming in at number three, he compiled a 184-ball 89 before a special follow-on century from Mahela Jayawardene helped the visitors save the Test.
Since then, Cook has gone on to establish himself as one of England's greatest ever opening batsmen. With more than 12,000 runs, he currently stands sixth (as of June 1, 2018) in the all-time list.
When the England opener equalled his record of 153 successive Test matches during the recently completed Lord's fixture against Pakistan, Border had lavished high praise on the 33-year old. Terming himself as a 'great fan' of the seasoned southpaw, the legendary Australian skipper bespoke of the remarkable nature of his resilient record.
From March 1979 until his retirement in March 1994, Border played in all of Australia's 153 Test matches. Setting the tone with his unparalleled grit, the exalted left-hander served as crisis man in the batting department as well as indisputable leader on and off the field.
Here are the top ten players with the most consecutive appearances in Test history. Apart from Cook and Border, the likes of Mark Waugh, Sunil Gavaskar and Brendon McCullum are the only cricketers to play more than 100 successive Test matches.
Most consecutive Test appearances