Epic, they say. Monumental. Alastair Cook batted for 836 minutes against Pakistan. That’s almost 14 hours. Or, in other words, not even two days’ work for a normal person.
So before we start lauding Cook’s extraordinary powers of concentration, let’s just stop a minute and ponder whether he could spend a full 37 and a half hours working on the same bloody spreadsheet. No six-hour shifts with breaks every two hours either – proper, long, miserable stints where even taking a lunch break is frowned upon.
How would he cope then? It’s pretty easy to avoid playing an airy-fairy cover drive – most of us achieve this goal daily – but how would he cope trying to work out which cell contains a buggered-up formula? How long could he spend methodically entering data without getting a decimal point in the wrong place?
That’s concentration, Alastair. That’s work. What you did was what kids do at playtime.