Nagpur, 2006. The stage was set for a young debutant to leave a lasting impressing on the game. 10 years down the line, he has emerged as the leading run getter in test matches in the mentioned period. Yes, the man under impression is none other than the ever reliable and resilient England captain Alastair Cook. Cook, who has been England’s test captain since November 2012, will soon become the most capped player for England in tests during the side’s upcoming series against Bangladesh.
Cook has come a long way since that maiden test century on debut against India. He has amassed centuries in all conditions and against all attacks. Like other English batsmen, spin doesn’t worry him, but rather, he tends to thrive against the spinners. Ahead of the series against Bangladesh, Cook, in a chat with ESPN Cricinfo, admitted that if he carried on in the same way, the 200 test mark would be a guarantee.
“We play Tests so quickly nowadays so I could reach 200,” Cook said. “The danger is looking at it. Seventy-odd Test matches now seems a long way away and if I am brutally honest the more times you pack your bags to leave your family at home you do question how long you can keep doing it. But at this precise moment playing and being captain is something I am very proud of. It doesn’t matter whether you are playing your first game or your 130th it is a very proud moment to play for England and you should never ever forget that and I certainly don’t.”
Cook added that not playing the shorter forms of the game had eased his workload. “Noticeably not playing one day cricket has lightened my load.” “You get more substantial breaks which refresh you a lot more mentally and you can isolate each series or tour knowing that I have ten weeks here but January, February, March are back at home and you can do your training block or get away from it and spend some quality time at home. Having that balance over the last two years has made a massive difference,” Cook said.
According to the southpaw, the key to succeed in Asia is to not get intimidated by the conditions. “It is nice to play here knowing I have done well in the past. I don’t feel daunted by the conditions. I know what to expect and the game you have to play which has been successful for me in the past,” Cook signed off.
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