After England lost the urn by going down in all the first 3 Ashes Tests, fingers were raised on the former captain Alastair Cook. The left-hander was in an awful form on the Australian soil as he could accumulate just 83 runs in the first 3 Tests. His scores read 2, 7, 37, 16, 7, 14 in the 6 innings respectively and he looked nowhere close to his best.
A lot of experts had slammed his poor run of form and Kevin Pietersen even questioned his attitude on the field. Alastair Cook, who used to spend hours on the pitch, piling on the runs and frustrating the bowlers, was severely missing. People had written him off and it seemed as if he was ready to be named as the scapegoat of the Ashes loss.
But come the 3rd Test in Melbourne and the best batting surface of the series, the opener stood up tall and turned back the clock. Cook scored his 32nd century and then went on to notch up his 5th double ton as well. At the end of day 3, he stands unbeaten at 244 runs off 409 balls that included 27 fours.
His footwork looked determined and he drove the ball as good as he ever did in his career. It was a sheer treat for the thousands in the stands to watch the modern master deliver the goods for his team. England stand at 491/9 in reply to Australia’s 327 and with 2 days to go, they would be hoping to achieve the first win of the series.
Alastair Cook equals Sunil Gavaskar’s feat
With this century, Cook becomes the only overseas player after India’s legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar to have scored centuries on Australia’s all 5 premier grounds. Only Gavaskar had made hundreds in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth prior to Cook.
The marathon knock also saw him jump to No.6 in the list of all-time run-getters in Test cricket. He currently has 11956 runs from 151 Tests and in this match, he went past Mahela Jayawardene, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara.
Highest run-getters in Test cricket
|Sachin Tendulkar (India)||200||329||15921||248*||53.78||51||68|
|Ricky Ponting (Australia)||168||287||13378||257||51.85||41||62|
|Jacques Kallis (ICC/South Africa)||166||280||13289||224||55.37||45||58|
|Rahul Dravid (ICC/India)||164||286||13288||270||52.31||36||63|
|Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)||134||233||12400||319||57.4||38||52|
|Alastair Cook (England)||151*||273||11956||294||46.52||32||55|
|Brian Lara (ICC/West Indies)||131||232||11953||400*||52.88||34||48|
|Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)||164||280||11867||203*||51.37||30||66|
|Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)||149||252||11814||374||49.84||34||50|
|Allan Border (Australia)||156||265||11174||205||50.56||27||63|
-Stats as of December 28, 2017