AFP/Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom
England captain Alastair Cook’s feat in becoming the youngest player to score 10,000 Test runs won’t be the only record he sets in his career, according to former skipper Nasser Hussain.
Cook became the first England batsman to score 10,000 Test runs when he made five against Sri Lanka on the fourth day of the second Test at the Riverside yesterday.
The England captain became just the 12th batsman -- and the only one still playing Tests -- in history to reach the landmark when the left-handed opener clipped Nuwan Pradeep for four through mid-wicket.
He is also the youngest to do so at 31 years and 157 days old, beating the previous record of India great Sachin Tendulkar (31 years and 326 days). This was Cook’s 128th Test and 229th innings at this level. The Essex batsman scored a hundred on his debut against India at Nagpur in 2006 and has now made 28 Test centuries.
At 31, Cook could have several more years as an international cricketer left in him, but whether he will break Tendulkar’s all time aggregate Test record of 15,921 runs made in 200 Tests remains to be seen.
“His greatest thing is his stubbornness and taking the hard path. I really don’t think there’s ever been an England player mentally stronger than Alastair Cook,” said Hussain, who played for the same county side, Essex.
Cook’s career has not been one of uninterrupted triumph, however. His position as captain was called into question two years ago as England suffered a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia and again during the 2014 home series defeat by Sri Lanka.
But Cook responded by scoring his first century in almost two years against the West Indies in May 2015, before leading England to series wins over Australia and South Africa. “After that 5-0 Ashes loss Down Under, when he was a broken man and everyone was applauding Michael Clarke’s captaincy, the easiest thing would have been to say, ‘I just want to concentrate on my batting. Never mind this captaincy lark, everyone keeps giving me stick’,” Hussain said.
“But he said ‘no, I’m going to prove people wrong’. Since then he’s won the Ashes back, he’s won in South Africa and he’ll continue to have that stubborn streak. It’s what makes him the magnificent cricketer that he is.”
Hussain added: “He’s got an authority and aura about him now, his captaincy has gone from strength to strength and you can’t argue with it.”
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