Following the fifth test against India at the Oval, Alastair Cook will retire from international cricket. Here we look back on five of his most memorable moments in an England shirt…
1. Record breaker
In 2015, Cook passed his mentor Graham Gooch’s record to become England’s all-time Test run scorer and is the fifth highest run scorer in the history of Test cricket. He is also the youngest player to pass 10,000 Test runs (at the age of 31, five months and five days) and he also holds the record for most Test appearances by an England player.
2. Winning in India
Upon announcing his retirement, Cook named captaining England to a series win in India in 2012 – the first in 28 years – as one of the crowning achievements of his career. England won 2-1 with Cook top scoring with 562 runs. Leading England to victory in South Africa in 2015-16 was no mean feat, too.
3. Ashes glory
Perhaps Cook’s greatest run of performances came in Australia during the 2010-11 Ashes series. He scored a total of 766 runs, with England running out 3-1 winners. It was the team’s first series win Down Under for 24 years, and Cook was, unsurprisingly, named ‘Man of the Series’. As captain, Cook led England to two home Ashes victories against the old enemy. In 2013, England comfortably beat the Aussies 3-0 and then came back from a 5-0 drubbing in Australia to regain the little urn in 2015.
4. Mammoth centuries
A couple of innings that sum up Cook’s qualities as a gritty, steadfast batsman are his highest score, 294, which he chalked up against India at Edgbaston in 2011, and the 263 he scored against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2015. The latter innings that helped England to a draw, saw him bat for 836 minutes – the third-longest innings by time in Test history and the longest ever by an Englishman.
5. Wicket taker
The Test match against India at Trent Bridge in 2014 ended in a draw, but the match’s last knockings were illuminated by Cook grabbing an improbable wicket after putting himself on to bowl. The skipper had Ishant Sharma caught down the leg-side.