Can’t believe Cook was criticised

Alastair Cook during the Ashes. Photo: PA
Alastair Cook during the Ashes. Photo: PA

THE MOST astonishing thing that came of the Lord’s Test match for me was not the mystery that surrounded Matt Prior and the smashed window.

It was the fact that Alastair Cook got a critical mauling for the way he batted on that final morning - he even got a bit of the blame for the window smashing incident from some quarters.

Cook did bat slowly - but he also scored 96 and 106 in a Test match at Lord’s - incredible stuff.

In that morning session England still scored 100+ runs at over 4 an over - that’s a good rate at Test match level.

We all know Andrew Strauss is a cautious captain when it comes to declarations - so it was no shock when he was looking for a 350+ lead.

And we know Cook is not a naturally quick scoring batsman. At the other end we had Kevin Pieterson, Matt Prior, the brilliant Ian Bell, Stuart Broad - all batsman who can score at a quick rate.

Cook had no need to go hell for leather - and he would have been acutely aware he got out softly on 96 for the first innings.

Cook is rewriting the record books and only Sachin Tendulkar scored more runs at this age at Test level - that is a phenomenal stat for Cook.

He was awesome in the Ashes, has been awesome so far this summer and I believe he will become England’s highest Test run scorer.

He has always scored slowly and I believe he will continue to - I just wish I had an ounce of his concentration and application.

Every team needs someone to bat around and Cook is the best player in the world at doing that at the moment.

We should be celebrating that fact.