Someone came to Old Trafford dressed as the Cookie Monster today. Perhaps it was a reference to the hundred-scoring monster that is Alastair Cook. Or maybe all his other clothes were in the wash.
Earlier today we made a comment about how we generally feel like we’ve seen Cook’s innings before. It wasn’t meant as a criticism. The familiarity of his run-scoring is a sign that he’s good at it.
Cook has his palette of shots and he deploys them to great effect. If he scored more quickly today, the innings will still look exactly the same on the highlights.
If you’re in any doubt of his worth, why not contrast his method with that of James Vince. Here is a batsman who is just as committed to his own, distinctive strokes; a batsman who in fact seems to have narrowed them all down to just one: the edged drive to slip. Good luck building a Test career on that one.
Joe Root also scored a hundred. Also familiar. Also welcome.