Alastair Cook, the former English skipper, started his Ashes 2017-18 campaign with a bad patch. His bat remained completely quiet during the initial games as he could only score 2, 7, 37, 16, 7 and 4 in the first three matches. The defending Ashes champions lost the urn at WACA, Perth while Cook had the fear of losing his spot in the squad for the rest of the two games.
Then came the boxing day Test and the Melbourne crowd witnessed the only English Batmen with 10,000 Test runs back in his original skin. He made the most of the opportunity to bat against the Aussies minus Mitchell Starc. The drop-in wicket at the MCG failed to haunt Cook on the third day while once he crossed the 150 run benchmark, there was no looking back for the English opener.
After batting for 10 hours, Alastair Cook ended up scoring a magnificent 244 unbeaten and helped England to take a lead of 164 runs in the first innings. While carrying the bat in first innings, Cook faced a total of 409 balls during his rock solid inning and hit 27 boundaries.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 28, 2017
Cook got a century at the MCG after a long span of 6 years which was his 37th in international cricket. His second double hundred of this year helped him setting a list of world records and here they are:
1. Sixth highest run-scorer in Tests
With 244 runs in the 4th Ashes Test, Cook has gone past West Indies former skipper Brian Lara (11,953 runs) as the sixth highest run-scorer in Test cricket with 11,956 runs. The other 5 batsmen above Cook are Sachin Tendulkar (15,921), Ricky Ponting (13,378), Jacques Kallis (13,289), Rahul Dravid (13,288) and Kumar Sangakkara (12,400).
2. Best score by a visiting batsman at MCG
After 5 Australian batsmen who scored 250 or more runs at MCG in Test cricket comes Alastair Cook who is the highest scorer from a visiting team. He surpassed Sir Vivian Richards who scored 208 runs in 1984 against Australia.
3. 2nd batsmen to score two double hundreds in a calendar year
After Wally Hammond, Alastair Cook became the second batsman to score two double hundreds in a calendar year. In the month of August, Cook scored 243 runs against West Indies in Birmingham.
4. Most 150+ score for England in Test cricket
Surpassing Wally Hammond, Kevin Pietersen and Len Hutton, Cook has scored 150 runs or more on 11 occasions. All the above-mentioned former English batsmen did so on 10 occasions in their career.
5. Highest score as an opener against Australia in Australia since 2010
Alastair Cook’s 244 unbeaten is highest individual score by a batsman in Australia against Australia in a Test match. The next two highest scores are also owned by Cook (148 and 189 in 2010-11) followed by Tillakaratne Dilshan (147 in 2012-13) and Murali Vijay (144 in 2014-15).
6. Carried the bat for the first time
For the first time in his Test career, he carried the bat in a Test inning. He had batted in 272 innings before but batted only once in a 9th or lower wicket stand.
7. 2nd batsman to bat for 10 hours in Test matches
Alastair Cook became the 2nd player in Test history after Mahela Jayawardene to bat ten hours in an innings on four different occasions
8. 2nd English batsman with most double hundreds
Cook is only second to English legend Walley Hammond in terms of most double hundreds scored for England. His 244 unbeaten was his 5th double hundred in his career while he needs 2 more to equal Hammond’s record of 7.
After the end of his outstanding inning, Cook attended the press conference and spoke about his fear of getting dropped from the team. According to a report published on theaustralian.com, Cook said,
“They [selectors] would have been entitled to [drop me]. I literally haven’t scored a run since Edgbaston. I always felt that I’ve got the backing of the selectors but you still have to deliver the goods and it has been very frustrating.”
England ended up putting 491 runs on the board. After the end of day 4’s play, the Aussies have scored 103 runs after losing 2 wickets. David Warner and skipper Steven Smith will resume the inning on the last day of the Melbourne Test.