Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Looks Assured Again as He Takes Step towards History

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Looks Assured Again as He Takes Step towards History

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Brenkley in Grenada

ALASTAIR COOK will one day become England's highest Test runs scorer. It will happen this summer or next winter, if the cricketing gods are looking down favourably.

He moved into second place yesterday in the Second Test against West Indies, ahead of Alec Stewart's total of 8,463 runs. Only Graham Gooch, his mentor since childhood, stands ahead of him on 8,900.

There is something neatly appropriate about the one and two in the order now, both men of Essex, master and pupil. Gooch will be delighted when Cook finally breaks his record, set in 1995 (a mere stripling compared to the wickets record which had belonged to Sir Ian Botham for 30 years until Cook's team-mate and friend, Jimmy Anderson, overhauled him last week).

The manner in which Cook set about his innings yesterday suggests it may be sooner or rather than later. It is not often in the past year or so that could have been said.

Cook began with a solidity and assurance that have become unfamiliar. Shannon Gabriel bowled as fast as anybody has to him in the 34 innings since he last made a Test hundred but he was unflustered. If Cook was under the closest scrutiny, his partner, Jonathan Trott, was sharing a microscope.

Trott is as yet nowhere near to being the dependable performer which made him one of England's most successful No3 batsman.

On his comeback from the stressrelated condition which forced him to quit an Ashes tour 17 months ago, he has been reinvented as an opener.

It leaves Trott with two hurdles: making sure the mental demons have been vanquished while adapting to a new role.

He ducked the bouncers, he clipped well enough and by the close of the second day, England were on 74 without loss, 225 adrift.

They will be mindful of trying to keep the scoring rate above three an over today.

Too much time has already been lost in this match with only 130.4 overs being bowled in the first days, a loss of almost 50 overs. …

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