As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything.
Technically, he hasn’t been away. It just rather feels like he has. Like stumps and grass, you take for granted that Alastair Cook will at least be present for England Tests – that’s a given – however, you also expect to see an awful lot of him.
Cook is not a batsman for memorable cameos. He is a batsman who appropriates entire matches, claiming far more than his fair share of screen time. When in form, he has a tendency to monopolise play.
Christmas is a time of traditions and what could be more familiar than seeing Alastair Cook repeatedly cycle through the cut, the pull, the work to leg and the punch to off?
They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but we don’t feel contemptuous of our bottle opener or our central heating. When something does the job for which it is intended efficiently and without fuss, we’re perfectly happy with that.