Sunday 26 April 2015 is a red letter day for English sport. It marks a nice round 700 days since Alastair Cook last scored a Test century. To commemorate this incredible milestone, 51allout has conducted some rigorous, in-depth research into what other players from inferior families have managed to achieve in that time.
There have been 175 Test hundreds scored by 68 different players in the post Cook century era, or ‘the PCCE’ as we’ll call it from here on in. The first by Ian Ronald Bell MBE against Australia at Trent Bridge, the most recent by Kraig Brathwaite in Grenada, who in so doing ruined the nice symmetry of the PCCE being bookended by Bell and Young Joe Root. Between them those two potential usurpers have managed ten of the aforementioned 175 centuries. (As an aside, Root’s average when passing 100 since 25 May 2013 is a mildly impressive 865)
So what of other England players? Gary Ballance has been able to make his debut, score four centuries and has passed 1,000 Test runs. Moeen Ali has made his debut, scored a century and become the front line spinner. Sam Robson has made his debut, scored a century and then been taken out back and shot with without anyone really noticing. Ben Stokes has made his debut and scored a century before being dropped then picked again. And some other guy scored a century then was sacked for inappropriate whistling but we can’t remember his name.
In case you were wondering; one of Root’s hundreds was as an opener, so there’s been two scored by England openers in the last 700 days. Yes, that does mean that, of the guys who scored them, one was put back in the middle order and the other was dropped. Yes, the guy who’s batted there the whole time hasn’t scored any. And yes they dropped Michael Carberry as well for not scoring any hundreds. Stop asking questions.
Elsewhere in the world, David Warner (nine hundreds) leads the list (scored at a frankly ridiculous strike rate of 81.16), while #Devereux (eight) is hot on his heels. Luckily England don’t have to play them any time soon. Younis Khan (seven), Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson (both six) make up the top five. Among a group of guys on five are Brendan McCullum and Kumar Sangakkara, who can each boast a triple hundred in the PCCE. Also on five is Michael Clarke, while yet another Australian, Chris Rogers, pops up with four. Anyone would think they’d had a load of games against England’s attack to boost their stats. And then, er, Monimul Haque has four as well.
To be honest, though, we didn’t really
piss about on Statsguru for half an hour do all this research to find out which really good batsmen (and Monimul Haque) were better than Alastair Cook. We did this to laugh at all the shit players who were. So with that in mind we’d like to doff our caps in particular to Regis Chakabva and Hamilton Masakadza for doing their bit for the cause.
Other luminaries who deserve credit include South Africa’s Stiaan van Zyl, who we don’t really remember existing, as well as most of the Bangladesh team and Shaun Marsh. Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis are there despite having been retired for a year. Dean Elgar, somewhat inexplicably, has made two. But we’ve saved the worst ’til last. Alastair Cook, Great Leader of English cricket, hasn’t scored a hundred for 700 days. It would be really embarrassing to find out that one of the guys with more hundreds in that time was someone whose record was recently described on this very site as “among the very worst in the game“. What’s that?