Alastair Cook becomes fifth-highest Test run-scorer

The former England captain went past Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara and now has the most runs scored by a left-hander in Test cricket.

Alastair Cook drives through the off-side en route to his 33rd Test hundred.   -  AFP

Alastair Cook went past Kumar Sangakkara's tally of 12,400 runs on Monday in his final innings in Test cricket, becoming the fifth-highest run-scorer behind Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid.

When he reached 76, Cook also became the highest-scoring left-hander in the format.

Cook went on to reach his 33rd Test century and 31st as a Test opener. He is second on the list of opening batsmen with the most Test centuries after Sunil Gavaskar, who hit 33. Two of Cook's centuries have come as batting at No.3.

Coincidentally, Cook made a century on debut against India. It is fitting that he signs off with a century in his last Test against the same opposition, one of seven that he hit against the subcontinental giant. He is also only fifth batsman to score centuries in his first and last Test matches.

Cook is England's highest run-scorer in Tests, scoring close to 5000 runs more than Graham Gooch, the second-highest run-scorer and long-time mentor. Gooch had commented last week that Cook was flat-lining having endured a difficult 12 months.

Cook announced his retirement before the fifth Test of the ongoing series.