The Ashes: Cook ‘embarrassed’ by MCG landmark
PUBLISHED: 11:00 28 December 2017
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Alastair Cook admitted to being “embarrassed” by his Ashes showing before a record-breaking double-century which kept England in control of the fourth Test at the MCG.
Cook (244 not out) had not managed more than 37 in his previous 10 innings but resumed on day three with his 32nd Test hundred already in the book.
But it was to get even better for Cook, especially during a ninth-wicket stand of exactly 100 with Stuart Broad (56) as the tourists progressed to 491-9 at stumps.
Cook told BT Sport: “Last night (the feeling) was relief and I was quite emotional, and today I was quite proud that I came back, got in the game and dug deep to get a big one.
“Yesterday was probably a bit tougher because it was a lot hotter and after fielding as well.
“We got Broady focused on his targets and he played beautifully and I gave him the strike to knock singles and he kept crashing them for four.
“It’s one of those 10 hours where I’ll look back and go ‘yeah, things were working well’. The whole tour I’ve been struggling to get that rhythm of batting and I was a bit embarrassed by my performance, but at least today I’ve gone on and got a big one.
“It’s never going to be pretty, my batting, but sometimes it’s effective.”
On his impressive contribution, Broad added: “Cooky said ‘rather than looking too far ahead let’s try and get five runs at a time’ and that is quite helpful as the lower order as it means you are not focusing too much on the future, you just break it down into little partnerships.
“I was quite conscious I didn’t want to take Cooky out of his comfort zone, that little bubble he’s been playing in – (let him) do his job and not change the way he was playing.
“It was good fun actually. It was really helpful to share the strike a little bit.”
Cook, England’s all-time record runscorer, beat Wally Hammond’s previous ground-record 200 for a compatriot and then surpassed Viv Richards’ best of 209 from any overseas batsman here.
For England, the bottom line a first-innings advantage of 164 were riches indeed after their captain Joe Root (61) and others had briefly invited Australia back into the contest.
Cook also moved up to sixth in the global list of top Test runscorers just before stumps, above the great Brian Lara, and on the achievement he said: “I feel a bit sorry for him (Lara)!
“It’s quite special isn’t it. I can go to bed tonight and be quite proud of those stats.
“It’s been one of those good days, there’s been enough bad days.”
When asked where the innings ranked in his career, Cook said: “Last night it ranked right up there, just because of the way I felt going into the game and feeling it was last chance saloon really.
“Those doubts are always there. I can’t say ‘I just put them to the back of my mind’, they are there and they have been beating me up for four or five weeks when I haven’t been playing very well.
“But you’ve just got to keep believing and I suppose you listen to them and they annoy you and you take them with you every single day, but there is some inner confidence in me that I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.”