The last Test of Alastair Cook’s career eliminated any remaining concerns about his reputation among England cricket supporters. Cook’s batting was never very elegant. Even though he was not extremely expressive, his career was not without its share of ups and downs. While he was captain of England’s ODI squad and coping with the never-ending impact of the Kevin Pietersen incident, there were moments when he and England’s supporters seemed to be on separate paths. There are many cricket betting tips videos available so that you can bet accordingly.
After his century in the second inning, there was no question that the Oval crowd appreciated and admired him, as seen by their lengthy ovations. Consequently, he was knighted, becoming the first England cricketer to get the honour since Ian Botham in 2007. He continued to play for Essex nonetheless.
Before this match, Cook’s batting form had been deteriorating for some time. When he played his last Test at age 33, he had logged a considerable number of kilometres. He had many reasons to be proud: he was the highest-scoring and most-hundred-making batsman for his nation in Test cricket, and he had broken the record for most consecutive Test appearances with 159.
After the Pietersen affair and the loss of the ODI leadership on the eve of the 2015 World Cup, it seemed as if he would never fully recapture his dynamism. In the months coming up to his retirement, he said that he had lost “a little edge.”
He had a long and prosperous career at that moment. During the Ashes of 2010-11, he made 766 runs in seven innings to help England win its first series against Australia in 24 years. As a consequence, he became the second-youngest batsman to amass 5000 Test runs, behind Sachin Tendulkar, and won the ICC’s Test batsman of the year title. On Christmas Day, he turned 26. Two years later, he became the youngest player to score 7000 runs in a Test match, shattering additional records. He also became England’s leading century-maker in Tests (his 23rd against India in Kolkata, his third in three matches) and the nation’s leading century-maker in Tests (his 23rd against India in Kolkata, his third in three
Perhaps his best moment as a captain happened at the start of his reign. When England defeated India in 2012-13 for the first time in 28 years, it was a testament to Pietersen’s batting talent and his willingness to reintegrate himself into the team. After two Ashes triumphs at home in 2013 and 2015, as well as a successful tour of South Africa during the winter of 2015-16, England’s cricketers were able to dispel skepticism over their safety-first, controlled approach.
However, there were also significant setbacks. This whitewash of the Ashes and the subsequent power struggle over Pietersen was the product of his leadership. Alastair Cook stayed in command after Andy Flower’s resignation and Kevin Pietersen’s expulsion, only to be hammered by Sri Lanka in England the following summer, when he nearly resigned due to the ferocity of the internet criticism. He cherished the heartfelt applause he earned at the Ageas Bowl for his calm 95 against India, which ended his terrible run.
On several occasions, his stubbornness led to his downfall. The same self-confidence that enabled him to become England’s record-setting Test run-scorer also convinced him that he was the man to revive England’s one-day international fortunes, which he achieved. As a result, he was affected by the ensuing criticism since he stayed captain of an outdated squad for too long. His limited-overs career ended around his 30th birthday as he was omitted from the 2015 World Cup roster despite guiding the team to within one wicket of the coveted global ODI championship in the 2013 Champions Trophy. Despite their humiliating loss, England’s future growth in the format was evident.
Similar to his batting, his leadership approach lacked the tactical awareness that would have made him a superb leader. However, his unwavering commitment to the cause and very high personal standards gained him the affection and respect of everyone he knew. In 2016, at the age of 32, he resigned as Test captain after India’s 4-0 defeat. His colleagues, save Pietersen, were committed to him. Andrew Strauss commented, “He deserves to be regarded as one of the finest English captains of all time.”
Probably, his low number of hundreds in his last 48 Tests as England captain was due to the responsibilities he had to shoulder, rather than technical deficiencies. In 59 Tests, he led England to 24 triumphs, giving him the second-most successful captain after Michael Vaughan (26 victories). He also established a record of 22 defeats.
Early on, analysts anticipated that the young Cook would achieve great success in life. After Cook graduated from Bedford School with a multitude of batting records, Essex threw him into the deep end the following year. Later that year, he scored his maiden hundred in first-class cricket, followed by a double century for Essex against the Australians in 2005. In 2004, he served as England’s Under-19 World Cup captain.
Due to injuries acquired while playing in India, he was called up to the England team in the spring of the following year. Despite being in the Caribbean with the A team at the time of the SOS, he had a great debut at Nagpur with a 60-run century and a magnificent century. It has become a cliche to say, “He didn’t sweat.” His ability to play long, grueling innings without showing signs of fatigue was immediately apparent.
Bowlers exploited Cook’s inclination to remain on the front foot, but he still managed to score runs. On his 25th birthday, Christmas Day 2009, he had more runs (3,536) and centuries (nine) than any other Englishman of his age. In 2009, he hit three more Test hundreds, although none of them occurred in the Ashes series when his highest score was 95 at Lord’s as the Australians probed the front-pad problem.
A difficult and courageous inning at The Oval won him a spot at the beginning of the Ashes series, in which he played a key role. As a microcosm of his career, he never claimed to be the greatest, yet he still succeeded. And he earned this respect by facing fast bowlers and the new ball without fear or hesitation for more than a decade.
Alastair Cook had scored his 73rd first-class century against Gloucestershire, his fourth of the season, as runs continued to pour in. Cook and Simon Harmer collaborated to put Essex on the brink of victory in their County Championship match against Gloucestershire. In addition to the sheer number of runs, it was his will to win, his persistence, and his spirit that eventually shone through. Cook played his last test match vs India in 2018 at Oval.
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