It took Alastair Cook some time to prove his mettle once again, but the former England skipper made sure to mark his return to form in style. The southpaw scored a monumental double century in the ongoing Boxing Day Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to ease the pressure off himself and put England in a commanding position.
Cook entered the Test under huge pressure, having managed just 83 runs at an average of 13.83 in the first three Ashes Tests and being without a century since his 243-run knock against the Windies at home 11 innings ago.
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In fact, some former players including Mitchell Johnson and Kevin Pietersen had even gone on to say that the southpaw might bring down curtains on his career. But just when it seemed the critics were right, England’s leading centurion and run-scorer in Tests proved them wrong with his first century at the MCG and his first in the Ashes since 2011.
Cook finished day two of the game on 104 not out and was well supported by his successor Joe Root (49 not out), as the duo shared an unbeaten third-wicket stand of 112 to help England reach 192 for two by the close in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 327.
Also Read: Ashes 2017/18: This Series Could be the Making of Joe Root as Skipper – Michael Hussey
Day 3, however, began on a tough note for the visitors, as they lost their skipper and in-form Dawid Malan early. But Cook held firm and continued to rack up runs from the other end to reach his double century. He was well supported by Stuart Broad who scored a quickfire fifty to help England take command of the proceedings in the penultimate Ashes Test.
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) December 28, 2017
Twitter, meanwhile, was quick to laud Cook for the stunning innings. At stumps on day 3, Cook was unbeaten on 244.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the knock:
The sound of the extraordinary @TheBarmyArmy as Alastair Cook reaches his 200.
— Henry Moeran (@henrymoeranBBC) December 28, 2017
Cook – ‘daddy’ 💯 #legend
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) December 28, 2017
Amazing Alistar Cook!!! What picture of concentration. So impressed, how much longer can he bat? Or should I say how much longer can Anderson hang around #Ashes
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) December 28, 2017
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 28, 2017
For the doubters. For the haters. For the critics. For the naysayers.
💯 number 32.
— Gray-Nicolls (@graynics) December 27, 2017
Great contrasts in the celebrations upon reaching their hundreds from Alastair Cook and David Warner. As the saying goes, class is permanent
— Paul Newman (@Paul_NewmanDM) December 27, 2017
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) December 27, 2017
Well batted Alastair Cook. Too late to save the Ashes but not too late to restore some much-needed pride in this England team. Good, too, to see @StuartBroad8 bowling well again & very impressed by young @_TC59’s fiery & aggressive debut. His Dad would have loved it. 👍#Ashes pic.twitter.com/Exb8csMAYJ
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 27, 2017
Alastair Cook now has a century at Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) December 27, 2017
Just woke up & seen the scores. Alastair Cook 💯. Whoever wrote him off, you did so at your own peril! The blokes a genius. Form is temporary…class is permanent! 🙌🏻
— Ben Slater (@BennySlats) December 27, 2017
Most 150+ scores for England in Tests:
11 – Alastair Cook
10 – Wally Hammond
10 – Len Hutton
10 – Kevin Pietersen#Ashes
— Brydon Coverdale (@brydoncoverdale) December 28, 2017