Former England captain Alastair Cook has copped a lot of flak recently for his below par showing at the top of England's batting order in the ongoing Ashes series against Australia. Cook, who is England's highest run-getter in Tests, was expected to lead the visitors' fairly inexperienced batting unit against the arch enemy. But the southpaw failed miserably in the first three Test matches as he failed to register even a score of above 40 as England surrendered the Ashes by losing all three matches.
The Boxing Day Test in Melbourne was all about playing for pride for the Three Lions as the rampant Aussies eyed a humiliating whitewash. And the experienced opener finally put his hand up as he slammed an unbeaten double hundred on the third day of the fourth Test to put England in command with a lead close to 200 runs.
Cook was rock solid even as wickets kept tumbling around him to slam his 32nd Test ton on the second day as he took England to safety with a 138-run stand with skipper Joe Root and then frustrated the Aussies with another century stand with tailender Stuart Broad. While leading the English charge at Melbourne, Cook also went past one of world's cricket biggest batting icons, Brian Lara, in the list of most runs scored by batsmen in Test cricket.
Cook, who is currently unbeaten on 244, is now sixth in the list of most runs scored in cricket's oldest and longest format. The Englishman though has taken 20 more Test matches and 41 more innings to get past the West Indian legend's mark. The Englishman is now less than five hundred runs behind Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara.
Sachin Tendulkar leads the run charts with 15,921 runs.
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