England’s highest run-getter, most successful Test batsman and most capped Test player, Alastair Cook, will play his last Test match this week against India at The Oval. His decision has come on the back of some poor form and his inability to convert the small starts he’s been getting.
Nonetheless, Cook has been a wonderful player and played for more than 12 years (having made his debut in 2006). You generally associate Alastair Cook with words like grit, determination, concentration, mental strength, and many such terms. His batting was exactly that. He loved batting for long hours, blunting out attacks, and scoring runs in a classical manner.
Thus, as he is about to hang up his boots and end his international career, let’s recall some of the gritty innings he played in his glittering Test career.
#5 116 vs Australia – Perth (2006)
Inside a year of international cricket, Alastair Cook soon found out the harsh reality of Test cricket. In the 2006-07 Ashes series down under, he had five consecutive failures (just one score of over 30 in those five innings).
But he showed that he can be gritty and battle it out. Chasing a mammoth 556 in the fourth innings, England had to bat more than two days, and they lost Andrew Strauss in the very first over. But his opening partner Cook grinded it out as he made a fighting 116. He batted for over six and a half hours before he was eventually dismissed. However, England couldn’t save the game and lost the series 5-0.
But despite the loss, England found a gritty player in Cook who was willing to fight, and battle hard.