160 Test matches is what Alastair Cook has played for his country, England. He captained the team for a majority of his career, and he retired from the limited overs formats many years ago, to focus on an already very illustrious test career. His last T20I for England was way back in 2009 and his last ODI was in 2014, when he made the decision to focus completely on the longer format, and go from great batsman to legendary batsman.
Is this the right choice?
A batting average of only 18.62 in nine Tests this year is what probably prompted this decision from the former England captain. However, I have all reason to believe that this wasn’t the right call, keeping in mind that even some of the best in the world have gone through rough phases. Even Tendulkar may have had a bad year or two where critics would’ve said hes past his age, but he always hit back hard and retired on a high. Is this then, the right decision by Cook?
Over the last couple of years, England have had huge issues finding a suitable opening partner for Cook, with as many as 11 tried since the retirement of Andrew Strauss, including Joe Root, Michael Carberry, Nick Compton, Haseeb Hameed, Adam Lyth, Alex Hales, Keaton Jennings and others. Now being unable to find one partner since years, Cook may not have made the wisest of decisions by quitting and expecting England Cricket to find two new openers, rather than one.
Let’s also consider the fact that Cook is just 33-years old. He will retire with 161 tests under his belt, with the next best being James Anderson, who has played 142 tests and is 36-years old, while also being a fast bowler, which obviously needs a fair bit higher level of fitness. Has Cook made this decision thinking he’s under-performed over the last few months? Why didn’t he believe he would come through it stronger and go from legend to probably a cricketer worthy of being knighted!
Illustrious career, nonetheless!
Keeping all the discussions aside, Cook has been a loyal servant for England over the years and he has worked his way up into so many record books over the years, making him probably England’s best ever batsman, stats-wise. While I am a staunch India cricket fan, Cook has been a brilliant batsman, and no one will ever forget how he has always troubled Indian bowlers, with his career best of 294 also coming against India in 2011.
This series saw his test batting average drop below 45.00 for the first time since 2010. However, 12,254 career test runs speak for itself, including 5 double centuries. He is one of only 13 batsmen in the history of test cricket to have 5 or more double centuries, while also being the sixth highest test run-scorer of all-time. The next best English batsman on that list is Graham Gooch, with a distant 8,900 runs.
“Although it is a sad day, I can do so with a big smile on my face knowing I have given everything and there is nothing left in the tank. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined”
We at Read Scoops wish Cook the best of luck and leave you with some of the tweets pouring in since his announcement:
No player has given more to the England cricket shirt .. No player has got more out of there ability .. No player has shown more mental strength than Alastair Cook .. More than that he is the nicest Cricketer we have ever had .. Thanks for all the memories Cookie .. #CookRetires— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 3, 2018
And of course, a message from the Barmy Army: