England opener Alastair Cook has signed off from international cricket on a remarkable note, moving into the top-10 of the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after a Player of the Match performance in the final Test against India at The Oval.
The left-hander’s scores of 71 and 147 made him only the fifth man in history to notch a century in his first and last Test matches, and also helped his side win by 118 runs to complete a 4-1 win in the five-match series. This memorable performance lifted the 33-year-old 11 positions to 10th in the latest rankings, which were released on Wednesday morning.
Cook had achieved a career-high ranking of second in September 2011 after he had scored a Test best 294 against India at Edgbaston. This was the same year when Cook won the prestigious ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award.
The former England captain has ended an impressive career with the third-best ranking for a retiring England batsman after Wally Hammond (fifth) and Geoff Boycott (eighth). However, he has finished in a higher position than any of the batsmen who scored more runs then him in the pinnacle format. Jacques Kallis hung his boots in 12th position, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid both ended their careers in 18th spot and Ricky Ponting finished in 26th place.
Apart from winning the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award in 2011, Cook was named in the ICC Test Team of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 (as captain). He also made his way in the ICC ODI Team of the Year in 2012, the year in which he reached his career-best fifth position in ODIs during the month of June.
India captain Virat Kohli may have failed in his last innings on the tour, but he has finished as the number-one ranked batsman in world. He had started the series 27 points behind Australia’s Steve Smith and finished one point ahead of his closest rival.
Kohli had first reached the top of the world after the Edgbaston Test and then reclaimed the top spot after the Trent Bridge Test. He will now defend his number-one ranking in the two-Test home series against the West Indies, which starts on 4 October.