Cricket: Alastair Cook wrote his name into the record books today after he hit his 23rd Test ton to become England’s most prolific Test centurion.
The knock, which also moved Cook to ninth on England’s all-time list of Test run-scorers, put England firmly on top on day two of the third Test against India at Eden Gardens.
Cook, who hit 136 not out, helped the tourists to a stumps total of 216 for one in reply to India’s 316 all out.
Cook’s century made him the youngest batsman in history to reach 7,000 runs, while he also passed the mark of 22 held by Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott and Kevin Pietersen.
Boycott was quick to praise the England skipper, whose input could prove crucial as England aim to take control of a series finely poised at 1-1, and said the 27-year-old has time on his side to become an all-time great.
“He’s got a sound technique,” Boycott said. “He’s the captain so he’ll automatically get picked. He’ll be way up towards 40 by the time he’s finished, high 30s maybe.”
While becoming Test captain had been a curse for many a talented batsman, Cook has thrived under the extra pressure having scored centuries in all five of his Tests as skipper.
Cook was dropped by Cheteshwar Pujara at slip off the bowling of Zaheer Khan on 17, but went on to hit 19 fours and a six in a superb innings.
Earlier England made short work of the Indian tail before Cook and Nick Compton shared an opening partnership of 165.
Compton was eventually trapped lbw for 57 by Pragyan Ojha before Jonathan Trott added 21 off 67.