Alastair Cook, Brian Lara, Viv Richards, MCG, Boxing Day Test, Double Hundred
The 33-year-old Alastair Cook returned to score runs. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

An opening batsman for England, Alastair Cook, smashed his fifth double hundred in his Test career, as he remained unbeaten on 244 runs during the ongoing Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) while admitting the fact by saying he was struggling to score runs and subsequently feared for losing his spot.

“The whole tour I’ve been struggling…and I was a bit embarrassed by my performance, but at least today I’ve gone on and got a big one,” Cook was quoted as saying by BT Sport.

The double-hundred has further put England in command for the first time over the Steven Smith-led Australia.

At stumps on day three at the MCG, the left-handed Cook helped England to take the first innings lead of 164, as the visitors’ post 491 for nine in 144 overs on the board before the stumps were withdrawn.

“It was very frustrating. It’s never going to be pretty, my batting, but sometimes it’s effective,” Cook maintained.

Alastair Cook, Brian Lara, Viv Richards, MCG, Boxing Day Test, Double Hundred
Alastair Cook was applauded for his brilliant knock. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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Known for playing long innings, Cook faced 409 deliveries, as he collected 27 boundaries in his hard-fought knock while adding he has doubted himself for over a decade.

“I’ve doubted myself for 12 years – and I’ll probably continue to doubt myself. Obviously, the longer it [a bad run] goes, the harder it becomes,” Cook asserted.

Interestingly, Cook is just 44 runs away to register the 12,000 runs in Test fold.

However, in the ongoing Magellan Ashes 2017-18 campaign, Cook looked bleak with the bat, as he collected just 83 runs in first six innings which further saw the Three Lions failing to retain the Urn after first three Test losses.

Cook also spoke at his magnificent double hundred which he scored at home in Edgbaston.

“I would have been entitled to be…just because I literally hadn’t scored a run since Edgbaston,” Cook remarked.

Alastair Cook, Brian Lara, Viv Richards, MCG, Boxing Day Test, Double Hundred
Alastair Cook dominates the hosts’ bowlers. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pertinently, the impressive Dawid Malan remarked the visitors should give their best when visitors lost the Ashes series before Christmas.

“I suppose I did have nothing to lose in one sense, so I said, ‘Right, I’m going to play a bit more positively’,” Cook further said.

While racking up the runs, Cook further moved to the fifth spot regarding most run scorers in the Test fold after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Kumar Sangakkara.

“I’ve never thought like that. I’ve always thought about fighting hard. Most of my runs are pretty ugly runs – quite hard work,” Cook remarked.

During his 10-hour-long vigil, Cook has surpassed the veteran Windies batsman Brian Lara regarding most Test run-getter to maintain the sixth spot.

“I can’t really explain that…I probably feel a bit sorry for Brian Lara. It’s obviously a special moment to see your name up there,” Cook said for achieving the feat.

Alastair Cook, Brian Lara, Viv Richards, MCG, Boxing Day Test, Double Hundred
Crucial ninth-wicket stand between Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad extend the lead. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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Ashes 2017-18: Alastair Cook struck fifth double ton, admits he feared for his spot Ashes 2017-18: Alastair Cook struck fifth double ton, admits he feared for his spot Ashes 2017-18: Alastair Cook struck fifth double ton, admits he feared for his spot Ashes 2017-18: Alastair Cook struck fifth double ton, admits he feared for his spot

After smashing his incredible double century, Cook also registered the individual best at the MCG while being considered as the overseas batsman after Windies’ Viv Richards recorded 208 in 1985.

“Yes, 100 per cent. So I suppose that’s why I’m quite proud…going to the well again and delivering a performance like that,” Cook concluded.

Moreover, Stuart Broad helped Cook to bring up the milestone when both forged hundred-run stand for the ninth wicket.

Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor