Ahmedabad, Nov 19: Alastair Cook, once again showed his liking to spend lots of time at the crease in Tests. He has now set the record for second longest innings in India while batting in second innings of first Test at Sardar Patel Stadium. Yet again, he defied Indian attack, as he had done last year, but could not stop the hosts from winning the first Test on Monday on the fifth and final day.
Captain Cook's marathon innings is already being hailed as one of the best in India. His 176 in second innings, after following on, lasted 556 minutes. That is nine hours and 16 minutes. Last year, Cook batted for 773 minutes for his 294 against India in Birmingham.
Cook's 556-minute vigil is the second highest in terms of minutes in India in second innings. The longest is 631, which is in the name of VVS Laxman, during his historic 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2001. Laxman's innings also came in the second innings after India had followed on. India went on to win that Test and halted Australia's unbeaten run of 16 matches.
To add to that effort in second essay, Cook had batted for 148 minutes in the first innings for his 41. In all, he was at the batting crease for a total of 708 minutes which is 12 minutes less than 12 hours. And when India batted in the first innings he was on the field of play for 640 minutes.
Another England captain, Michael Atherton had played a similar innings in 1995 against South Africa when he thwarted the bowlers for 643 minutes for his 185 not out to save the match in the fourth innings.
The longest time spent at the crease in Test history is Hanif Mohammad of Pakistan. He played for 970 minutes for his 337 against West Indies in Bridgetown in January, 1958.