Captain Cook shows how it's done

England captain breaks two records on day two of third test

By Laura Dodds

England captain Alastair Cook became the youngest man to score 7000 test runs during his side’s dominant display in the third test against India, a game in which he also surpassed the great Wally Hammond’s record of test centuries for England.

The run machine achieved the landmark at just 27 years and 347 days old, overtaking the little master, Sachin Tendulkar who was 28 years and 193 days old when he achieved the feat.

Cook has now scored twenty three test centuries, and judging by the form he is in at this time, that number will keep on rising. Already he has made centuries in his first five tests as England skipper, including two tests against Bangladesh as a stand-in for the injured Andrew Strauss in 2010.

After a poor performance in the first test in Ahmedabad, the England team have massively improved, and a lot of this is down to Cook leading from the front and setting the team up with his menacing batting displays. He brought up his latest hundred with a sweep for two off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, during a 165 run opening partnership with Nick Compton, although it could have been a different story if Cheteshwar Pujara had held on when Cook knicked to slip on 17. From then on England controlled the day, reaching stumps on 216-1, only 100 away from India’s first innings score of 316. With Cook 136 not out overnight, he will be hoping to continue where he left off, and with Jonathan Trott for company, they will be looking to chase down India’s 316 and stretch out a healthy lead without too much damage on day three.

Cooks achievements since his debut hundred against the same opposition in 2006, have people suggesting that he could become one of the greatest batsmen of all time, and who could argue if he keeps up this magnificent run of form. Perhaps his only downfall is his terrible luck at the toss, but with the performances the England team have put in in these last two test matches, it does not seem to matter for them. For now though, the England team and supporters will be hoping he can lead his team to victory in the third test to give them a 2-1 lead going into the fourth and final test in Nagpur.

6th December 2012