Cook crosses 10,000 Test runs mark
Alastair Cook has become the first England batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs, after reaching the milestone on the fourth afternoon of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.
Cook, who started the match on 9,980 career runs, fell five short of the landmark when he was caught in the gully for 15 on the opening morning of the match. But he made no mistake second-time around, the moment arriving at 3.15pm when he clipped Nuwan Pradeep off his pads for four.
He was given a second opportunity in this Test only after Sri Lanka managed to score 475 after following on, setting England a target of 79 to go 2-0 up in the series.
"The 10,000 has been a milestone that has driven me over the last few years," he said after England completed a nine-wicket win. "You get tested at the top of the order in all conditions against the best bowlers bowling with the new ball and I'm glad I have hung around long enough not to get dropped.
"I never thought I would get 10,000. Now I will have to have a rethink and set something else personally. You need something tucked away to drive you to get up go running in the morning or bat in the nets with Goochy. I am still hungry to achieve stuff."
Cook said that his strengths were playing off the back foot and being able to "handle the external stuff as well", reflecting on how he almost stepped down as captain after England lost the home series against Sri Lanka two years ago.
Asked about his toughest moments, he said: "[Ryan] Harris and [Mitchell] Johnson were hard, and facing [Glenn] McGrath and [Brett] Lee as a 21-year-old was a good baptism for me. The Pakistan series in 2010 for me as a batter was hard. I had changed my technique. I found it tough. It was an enlightening moment when I went back to my old technique. As a player and captain Sri Lanka was hard. Forget all the runs, that is my proudest moment …hanging in in the tough times."
Cook is the 12th batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs and, at 31 years and 157 days, the youngest by five months. The previous holder of that record, Sachin Tendulkar, notched his 10,000th Test run at the age of 31 years and 326 days, against Pakistan at Kolkata on March 16, 2005. Tendulkar, however, required 195 innings to reach the landmark. This is Cook's 229th.
Cook is also the only active Test cricketer in the 10,000 club. Seven of the previous players to have reached the mark have retired in the past four years, including two men who were on the winning side, in 2014, on the last occasion Sri Lanka played a series in England - Kumar Sangakkara (12,400) and Mahela Jayawardene (11,814).
Cook, who is playing in his 128th Test, has 28 Test centuries to his name - another England record - and has further milestones on the horizon. He is closing in on becoming the second England batsman after Graham Gooch (5,917) to score 5,000 Test runs in home internationals, and is set to over-take Ian Bell (13,331) as the second-highest England run-scorer in all formats in the coming weeks.
The first batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs was India's Sunil Gavaskar, who posted the milestone against Pakistan at Ahmedabad on March 7, 1987. Six years later, he was joined by Allan Border, against West Indies at Sydney in 1992-93, with Steve Waugh (Sydney 2002-03) and Brian Lara (Old Trafford 2004) the next two men to join the club.