Former England skipper Alastair Cook has called time on his international career after the fifth Test against India at Kennington Oval, which begins on September 7. Cook has been in the worst form of his life, averaging just 18.62 in 9 Tests in 2018. But Cook had started his Test career with a bang, scoring a ton on Test debut.
His run-scoring spree has threatened once to over-take Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of most runs in Test cricket. But the 33-year-old Cook called it quits after playing 160 Tests. His 161st and last match will be a moment to cherish for all England fans as Cook has been the unsung hero in England cricket.
His stats prove Cook was one of the best Test openers of all time. And he has a penchant of scoring runs against Indian bowling attack, except for the current series against Virat Kohli and his men. Here’s why Cook was a big pain for India in Test cricket.
He scored a ton on Test debut against India: There have been many Test centurions on debut against India. But rarely do seldom go and become a star Test batsman like Cook. The former England skipper slammed 60 and 104* in his debut Test at Nagpur against India in 2006. And he went on to become youngest player to score every multiple of 1000 runs from 6,000 runs.
His highest Test score of 294 came against India: Cook reserved his best for India, cracking a marathon 294 against India at Birmingham in 2011 as England completed a 4-0 rout of MS Dhoni and his men.
Most tons against India: Whenever Cook scores against India, they are big tons – 294,190, 176, 130, 122, and 104*. He has scored 6 tons against India in Tests, joint most against any team. He also has six tons against WI.
His nemesis is an Indian bowler: When you play with fire, you die by the fire. Cook is the bunny of Ishant Sharma, who has dismissed the Englishman a record 12 times in international cricket. Ishant shares the record with former South African pacer Morne Morkel. But Ishant has an opportunity to go past Morkel in the Kennington Oval Test.
Cook’s only international wicket is an Indian player: Well, you can call it karma that the only international wicket Cook has taken in his career is that of his nemesis Ishant Sharma. Cook dismissed Ishant for 13 in the Nottingham Test of 2014.
Last Test against India as well: It’s very rare that a cricketer plays his first and last Test against the same opponent. But Cook is going to do so when he walks out to bat for the last time in international cricket in Kennington Oval. Twelve years ago, Cook has made his debut against India at Nagpur in 2006.