Cook equalled Border’s record (153) in the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s. In his 156th match in the second Test at Leeds, the veteran has taken his streak over Border.
Cook made his debut against India in 2006. He missed just one Test after playing two Tests in India. The streak started in a Lord’s Test against Sri Lanka on 11 May in that year. He made 89 runs in that game.
Time has gone by. Cook was England’s captain in that period. He has Test runs over ten thousand, the Englishman to have this feat. But playing 154 Tests in a row is certainly a remarkable achievement.
Only five men in the Test history has played 100 or more consecutive matches. The others are Border, Australia’s Mark Waugh, Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar and Brendon McCullum of New Zealand.
McCullum played every Test match from his debut till retirement. He is the only cricketer to play 100 Tests in a row since debut. AB de Villiers played 98 since his debut and then missed Test series against Bangladesh on birth of his first son in 2015. Adam Gilchrist also featured in all his Tests between debut to last match.
The second longest active streak is 56 (Nathan Lyon and Asad Shafiq). Shafiq is playing in Leeds Tests. Australia’s Steve Smith played 59 consecutive Tests before he was banned for ball-tampering scandal.
Most consecutive Tests played:
Alastair Cook (England) – 154* matches
Allan Border (Australia) – 153
Mark Waugh (Australia) – 107
Sunil Gavaskar (India) – 106
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) – 101
AB de Villiers (South Africa) – 98
Adam Gilchrist (Australia) – 96
Rahul Dravid (India) – 93
Mahela Jayawardena (Sri Lanka) – 93
Gundappa Viswanath (India) – 87