Record century from Alastair Cook as England take control

Dec 6, 2012

England cricket captain has re-written records in Calcutta - with more to come

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook has left cricket commentators "struggling for fresh superlatives" after he scored yet another century today, putting his team in charge of the Calcutta Test and rewriting the record books.

In a game obsessed with statistics, 27-year-old Cook has again delivered some extraordinary numbers, chalking up the most centuries – 23 – in Test cricket by any English batsman, says The Guardian.

His historic knock in Calcutta saw him eclipse such mighty names as Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott and Kevin Pietersen, the batsman he brought in from the cold for the Indian tour.

As Cook slipped past 88 he also became the youngest man to score 7,000 Test runs, surpassing the Indian great Sachin Tendulkar on his home turf. The century was also Cook's fifth ton in his fifth match as captain, another unparalleled achievement.

"Yes, captaincy can have an impact on a batsman," says The Guardian. "It can make him or her better."

As well as forcing record keepers to reach for the liquid paper, Cook's unbeaten 136 led England to 216 for one, only 100 runs behind India on first innings. "The tourists still have nine wickets in hand and three days to go on a pitch that is not dead, however easy Cook made run-scoring seem," writes Scyld Berry in The Daily Telegraph.

Berry says Cook has become a more "fluent" batsman as he has "grown older and more confident".

Speaking to The Times, Boycott, the former England opener, hailed a "terrific performance" by Cook but said the record-breaking century was inevitable.

"He's [Cook] going to get a lot more unless he suffers some serious illness or injury," said Boycott. "He's got a sound technique, 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."

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