Our top five moments of the Cook era
Alistair Cook has resigned as England’s Test captain after serving as skipper for an English record 59 Tests.
His time as Test skipper started and ended in India but in between those contrasting series Cook gave us plenty of memories to savour.
1. The Test series win in India
During his first series as skipper Cook did something almost every Test captain would give a body part for, claiming a series win in the most hostile of foreign enviroments.
Cook scored 562 runs as England took the four match series 2-1 and achieved possibly the biggest series win in modern English cricket.
England fought back from a hammering in the series opener to win the next two Tests before securing a draw in the fourth and final Test with Cook himself the hero in the third Test at Eden Gardens where he scored 190 as England piled on the runs.
2. 2013 Ashes
2013 threw up Cook’s first Ashes as England skipper with England expecting Australia to come hard at them after Andrew Strauss had led the English in a successful Ashes campaign in Australia for the first time since 1987.
Cook struggled with bat in hand but England were impressive, powered by an in form middle order of Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen.
Cook made a critical first innings fifty as England sealed the series with a win in the fourth Test at Chester-Le-Street.
3. Back to back series wins over India
In 2014 England beat India in a home series to clinch back-to-back series wins over India for the first time since 1985.
England found themselves under pressure in this series early on with the first Test ending in a draw before India powered to a win in the second Test to lead 1-0 with three to play.
Cook had a decent series with the bat with England steamrolling India in the final three games to destroy any hope India may have had of stealing a series win in England with Gary Ballance and Joe Root both scoring more than 500 runs for the hosts.
4. 2015 Ashes
England had a nightmare of an ashes campaign in 2013/14 slumping to a 5-0 series whitewash down under despite going into the series full of confidence.
The 2015 edition of the Ashes would be a make or break series for the Cook era and just like most of his career as captain the Ashes that year would be a mixed bag.
After a solid opening where England secured a good win in the first Test in Cardiff they were torn apart at Lord’s as Steve Smith smashed a double ton for Australia.
The series went south for the Aussies at Edgbaston where they elected to bat on a seamer’s dream and were bowled out for 136. Australia couldn’t recover and went down 2-1.
England gave Australia another green top at Trent Bridge and would seal the series after bowling the tourists out for 60 before lunch in the first innings and going on to win by an innings and 78 runs.
5. Winning in South Africa
England arrived in South Africa late in 2015 high on confidence and would have an incredible series ultimately taking it 2-1 with the Proteas win coming in a dead rubber at Centurion.
The team showed a willingness to fight when they got into trouble as well as a pronounced aggressive streak thanks to Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow.
South Africa may have been in a rebuilding phase but beating the Proteas in their back yard in no easy feat and will go down as one of Cook’s finest feats of captaincy.
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