Alastair Cook Biography
Stubbornness to hang around the crease-that intent makes Alastair Cook one of the most prolific test batsmen in the instantaneous world of cricket. England’s most-capped test player is only 4 matches shy to overcome Allan Border’s unique feat of playing most tests (156 tests) in a row.
14-year old Cook smashed a ton for Marylebone Cricket Club against his school Bedford in the summer of 1998. Over the next four years, Cook averaged a remarkable 87.90 which saw him breaking into Essex. In his county debut, Cook guided Essex to victory with unbeaten 69.
He led the England U-19 team to the semi-final of the 2004 U-19 World Cup, with himself scoring two tons. His stack of runs for Essex, especially a brilliant 214 against Australia impressed the cricket fraternity.
While touring Caribbean for England A team, Cook was called up as a replacement of skipper Michael Vaughan and celebrated his test debut in Nagpur with a brilliant 104 against India in March 2006. It secured him a permanent place in the national side.
Unlike the test, things did not go well for Cook in his ODI debut against Sri Lanka three months later and got dismissed on 39.
Rise to Glory
Cook tasted immediate success in tests by becoming the only second player in the history to go past 1000-run mark in maiden test season.
During 2010-11 Ashes, Cook almost single-handedly drowned Australia on their soil by scoring 766 runs (three tons and one double ton) in five matches. Cook showed brilliance against quality spinners during 2012-13 India tour by scoring 562 runs in 4 matches. Cook maintains a better average in sub-continent (53.13) than his career average (46.49).
Until now, Cook has scored five double centuries in the tests, 294 being the highest against India at Edgbaston in 2011. He won ‘ICC Test Player of the Year’ award in 2011. He went past 1000 test-run five times in a single year (2006, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016).
Cook’s ODI journey is not quite fruitful as he averaged only 36.41 in 92 ODIs. In tests, he could not reach three digit score in 35 innings between July 2013 to April 2015.
Between 2013 and 2016, Cook managed to convert only five of his fifties into a ton. Cook’s T20 international career could only last up to four matches and was out of the team soon. He
Essex remained the only County club that Cook played for since 2003. In the summer of 2017, Cook scored 667 runs in 7 matches.
On the first assignment as captain, Cook inspired England to notch a test series on Indian soil after 28 years in 2012. He also led England to two Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015 under favourable home conditions but succumbed to whitewash by 5-0 in 2013 Ashes in Australia.
Cook resigned from the captaincy in February 2017 after a test series draw against Bangladesh, followed by a 4-0 trouncing in India.
However, Cook holds the record of captaining England in the most number of tests(59 tests). In terms of most victories as England test captain, Cook jointly seconds the list with 24 wins only behind Michael Vaughn (26 victories).
Cook led England in 69 ODIs and took England to the Champions Trophy Final in 2013. In ODI, as the skipper he won 36 matches while succumbed to defeat in 30 games.
Cook was nominated as the captain of ‘ICC Test Team of the Year’ twice in 2013 and 2016.
Cook has become youngest batsman to notch the 10000-run mark in test and first Englishman to achieve the feat in 2016. Also, he holds the record of smashing consecutive tons in first five tests as skipper.
On the fourth day of fifth Ashes Test in 2018, Cook (33 years and 13 days) surpassed Sachin Tendulkar as the youngest batsman to scale 12000 test-runs feat. However, he took the most innings(275) among the six members of 12000 test runs squad.