sports gazette

Alastair Cook Top Five Test Innings

Captain Cook © Simon Collings
Published: 19 May 2014

With the cricket season underway and international series on the horizon, Sports Gazette takes the opportunity to look back at Alastair Cook’s top five Test innings.

5. 136* v India at Kolkata (December 2012)

This innings makes the top five simply because of its significance at the time.

The century was Cook’s 23rd international ton for his country, the most by any England batsman. It also meant he was the youngest batsman to reach 7,000 Test runs.

It was his third consecutive hundred after taking charge of the team permanently and he once again led from the front.

Dropped on 17, Cook made India pay with yet another fine innings in the sub-continent before bringing up his landmark hundred off 179 balls.

4. 122 v India at Mumbai (November 2012)

In a match where Kevin Pietersen scored 188, it is sometimes often forgotten the importance of Cook’s role in the pair’s partnership.

After losing the first match of the series, England went into the second encounter knowing that victory was essential.

Cook battled with the poise and patience now synomous with England captain, scoring 122 runs from 270 balls.

It was the perfect foil for Pietersen, who in true style, bashed his way to 186 off just 223 balls. A brilliant partnership.

3. 104* v India at Nagpur (March 2006)

A series of injuries provided Cook with the stage to shine on his Test debut for England, a knock that saw his profile rocket.

With captain Michael Vaughan out with a knee injury and Marcus Trescothick away due to a stress-related illness, Cook was drafted into the touring party after being called up from the A team, who were in the West Indies.

After scoring 60 in the first innings, the 21-year-old upped his game in the second as he hit an unbeaten century.

The match would end in a draw, but more importantly Cook had made his mark on the international scene.

Cook had made his mark on the international scene.

 2. 235* v Australia at Brisbane (November 2010)

Just months ago Cook’s Test team place had been under scrutiny, until he produced a timely ton against Pakistan at the Oval.

Three months later, Cook was taking the first steps towards becoming one of England’s greatest batsman ever.

It was a gritty and determined innings from the opener, who was at the crease for a staggering 10 and a half hours.

England would go on to win the series, their first victory Down Under since 1987, with Cook scoring 766 runs in the process.

1. 294 v India at Edgbaston (August 2011)

Cook produced another stunning knock against India, this time on home turf.

Coming into the match, the opener had been struggling with form, with poor performances at Lord’s and Trent Bridge.

However, the opener bounced back with a fantastic innings as England demolished India with an impressive victory, winning by an innings and 242 runs.

It was very nearly a maiden triple ton for Cook, whose only blemish in an otherwise brilliant performance was when he skied Ishant Sharma’s delivery to deep point.

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