Alastair Cook marked Joe Root as the best England batsman he had played alongside after they both marked the country’s entry into day-night Test cricket with centuries against Windies at Edgbaston on Thursday (August 17).
Cook, already England’s leading Test run-scorer and century-maker, ended the first day on 153 not out in a commanding total of 348 for 3. He shared a stand of 248 with Root (136) on the first day of the inaugural pink-ball Test on English soil. Cook, who had made 193 for Essex in the round of floodlit County Championship matches in June, batted for more than six hours and rarely looked in any trouble as he compiled his 31st Test century.
He also had the best view as Root made his 13th century at this level and set a new England record of scoring half-centuries in 11 successive Tests.
“He kind of makes it look quite easy. Frustratingly easy,” said Cook after the day’s play. “It’s incredible he manages to score like he does. If he’s not the best England player I’ve played with he’s right up there.
“His game is phenomenal … he’s just phenomenally consistent against world-class bowlers around the world.”
The match started several hours later than would usually be the case for a Test in England and Cook said, “It was slightly unusual because you’re programmed to play in white kit starting at 11am (1000 GMT) with a red ball, it’s what we’ve done for all our careers.
“Suddenly changing it takes a little bit of time. It’s just a mental thing. I think if you get 150 and you’re not out at the end of day you enjoy it.”
Cook was not alone in having a fine time, with a typically lively crowd cheering him on in what was the 50th Test played at Edgbaston. Of their six major home grounds, the Birmingham venue is the one where England have their best record with a win rate of 53%. It was also where Cook made his Test-best score of 294 against India six years ago.
On the pink ball, Cook said, “The crowd enjoyed it and it was a good day for England. We won’t know about the pink ball until two or three years down the line. I can’t see it not being a success in other parts of the world, whether we need to do it in England is a different matter.
“We have the trouble that it’s not that dark until the last hour and doesn’t actually feel like a day-nighter until the last hour.”