Cook exits after breaking Goochs England record

Alastair Cook became England’s highest-ever run-scorer in Test cricket when he broke the record of batting mentor Graham Gooch during the second Test against New Zealand at Headingley on Saturday.

The 30-year-old left-handed opener started England’s reply to New Zealand’s first innings 350 on Saturday needing just 32 more runs to surpass Gooch’s mark of 8,900 runs in 118 Tests.

Cook, first coached by ex-England captain Gooch as a schoolboy, reached lunch unbeaten on 27.

Then, to his 13th ball after lunch Cook passed Gooch — whose runs came in four more Tests (118 to 114) — when he square-drove Tim Southee for four to break a record that had stood for nearly 22 years.

Former England batsman Derek Randall, Cook’s coach at Bedford School, north of London, told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special: “You can imagine as a cricket coach, to have the pleasure of working with somebody like Alastair Cook is very special.

“The first time I saw him on the bowling machine, I couldn’t believe the balance and timing he had. He’s a lovely lad, a very special boy.”

Cook was eventually out for 75, lbw to off-spinner Mark Craig on the sweep after the tourists overturned Indian umpire S Ravi’s original not out decision to end a first-wicket stand with Adam Lyth worth 177.

The skipper batted for nearly four hours and faced 187 balls including 12 fours.

Cook, speaking on Thursday, insisted he was nowhere near Gooch’s class as a batsman and tried to play down the significance of the landmark.

“It would be a lovely moment. I wouldn’t put myself anywhere near in his class but it would be a great moment,” said Cook.

“If I’m lucky enough to get that it will be a moment I’ll remember but if I am 30 not out it’s important in a game situation I go on and get a big score,” added the left-handed Cook, like the right-handed Gooch an Essex and England opening batsman.

Cook added: “I wouldn’t be here, or anywhere near here, without Goochie’s help, so it will be slightly strange if I do go past his record because without his hard work and dedication to me and my game, I wouldn’t have scored half the runs I would have done.

“It’s a bit of a strange one. But there will only ever be one Graham Gooch. He’s England greatest-ever batsman.”

By going past Gooch, Cook moved up to 13th place on the all-time list of leading run-scorers in Test cricket, where retired India great Sachin Tendulkar remains way out in front with 15,921 runs in 200 matches.

Most Test runs for England (player, span, matches, innings, not outs, runs, highest score, average, 100s, 50s, noughts):

Alastair Cook 2006- 114 203 12 8944 294 46.82 27 41 7

Graham Gooch 1975-1995 118 215 6 8900 333 42.58 20 46 13

Alec Stewart 1990-2003 133 235 21 8463 190 39.54 15 45 14

David Gower 1978-1992 117 204 18 8231 215 44.25 18 39 7

Kevin Pietersen 2005-2014 104 181 8 8181 227 47.28 23 35 10

Geoffrey Boycott 1964-1982 108 193 23 8114 246* 47.72 22 42 10

Michael Atherton 1989-2001 115 212 7 7728 185* 37.69 16 46 20

Colin Cowdrey 1954-1975 114 188 15 7624 182 44.06 22 38 9

Ian Bell 2004- 110 188 22 7341 235 44.22 22 42 13

Walter Hammond 1927-1947 85 140 16 7249 336* 58.45 22 24 4

Note: * = not out


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