Playing until 35 looks necessity for Cook to beat Tendulkar for 100s
Alastair Cook may not have made even half of the centuries of Sachin Tendulkar in his Test career, but 8/1 appears reasonable value that the current England captain has overhauled the Indian legend by the time both have retired from cricket.
Tendulkar’s 51 Test hundreds is more than anyone else in the history of the game, with Cook sharing 16th spot in this particular list with former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, with the pair on 25 each.
However, the rate at which Cook has been clocking up the tons in recent years suggests that he can overhaul Tendulkar, assuming he can retain his place at the top of the order.
The good thing for Cook is that legendary England openers do have a track record for lengthy careers, with Graham Gooch making his last appearance at the age of 42, Andrew Strauss retiring of his own accord at 35 and David Gower playing until the same age.
Mike Atherton didn’t play again after the Ashes of 2001 when aged 33, but he arguably could have retained his place for longer if it were not for a back problem.
Cook is currently 28 and so there is every reason to believe that he has at least another seven years of international cricket ahead of him judging by his predecessors.
The Essex opener has registered at least four centuries in each of the last three years and a continuation of this as a minimum would see him surpass 50 hundreds if he retired at age 35.
The obvious negative is that Tendulkar is still playing too, so the ‘Little Master’ could extend his own tally before retirement, moving further ahead of Jacques Kallis in the all-time list.
Therefore, it may be preferable to take the 8/11 that Cook scores at least 45 centuries in his career, as Tendulkar’s future achievements have no bearing on this bet.
It is the Ashes with Australia where Cook will get his next opportunity to build on his century total and 5/2 is the price that he reaches three figures in an innings in the opener at Trent Bridge.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.