The all rounder | End of series special

STATS OF THE SERIES
Were it still running, Alastair Cook could fill up an entire show of Record Breakers with his achievements this winter. Here are the highlights:

The Essex man has batted for an astonishing 2,171 minutes – that’s over 36 hours – the most by any Englishman and the longest occupation by a batsman from any country in a five-Test series.

Cook's tally of 766 runs so far is the second highest by an England batsman in any series, behind only Walter Hammond’s 905 in Australia in 1928-29 (compiled over nine innings to Cook’s seven). His average of 127 is the second highest by an Englishmen in the Ashes.

Cook has faced 1,438 balls in this series so far, the equivalent of 247.1 overs and 86 more balls than the total faced by Simon Katich, Phil Hughes, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Marcus North and Steve Smith.

Cook became the sixth England player to score three Ashes hundreds in the same series in Australia. He began the series with an Ashes average of only 26. It’s now just shy of 50.

Cook’s 235 not out in the first Test was the sixth best Ashes score by an Englishman and he also surpassed Sir Don Bradman for the highest Test score at the Gabba.

Cook and Jonathan Trott, who hit 135 not out in Brisbane, put on 329, the ninth highest England stand in history.

QUOTES OF THE SERIES
Events off the field have been just as, if not more, colourful than those out in the middle this winter. Here are a few classic examples.

“I am wondering if Australia should bother turning up. That’s how bad we are going to be according to what’s been said in the media.” Ω Former Aussie skipper Allan Border (left) wondered what all the fuss was about prior to the series. A clear example of the media knowing more than the so called ex-pro.

“They went for each other all right and it could have got very nasty if there hadn’t been people on hand to keep them apart. They reacted quickly because we all know the history between these two. They might be aged 55 and 67, but neither of them are the type of people to give an inch.” Ω A Channel 9 source’s take on the alleged dust-up which took place between sworn Ashes enemies Ian Botham (right) and Ian Chappell during the Adelaide Test.

“The drive back from the ground sat behind Boycs is always interesting. Just got to his 8th test hundred. Only 14 to go.” Ω There must be some downside to covering an Ashes series. Being relentlessly lectured by Geoff Boycott on the merits of being brought up playing on uncovered pitches represented karma for Michael Vaughan (left).

“Why do they speak in platitudes. I’m fed up of all the media spin and PR talk. Why don’t they just come out and say they played rubbish?” – Speaking of Boycott, the England legend got the hump after the defeat in Perth.

“I've never said this before, but I lost the captaincy and got rid of it for the good of English cricket.” – Kevin Pietersen tells us we won the Ashes because he got sacked and not because Ali Cook scored millions of runs.