England’s all-time leading run-getter in Tests Sir Alastair Cook has admitted he found playing white-ball cricket difficult with respect to the longest format. Cook retired in 2018 with 12472 runs in 161 Tests, the most by an Englishman.

Comparing his style with David Warner, who is known for his brisk scoring-rate cross formats, Cook said he sometimes was jealous of the Australian opener who would scored fifty in no time while for him reaching there meant dropping anchor and grafting it out.

“I’m not going to compare myself to David Warner but sometimes I watch him bat and I’m jealous that he gets to 50 off 30 balls, it’s an hour into the day and he’s already sorted. I had to graft – if I was getting 50, it was a three-hour job most times,” Cook told Sky Sports. “I always found one-day cricket harder. Everything when I was growing up was about Test and four-day cricket – you played T20 as a 13-year-old and you saw off the new ball, milked it around and you might have a little slog at the end.”

He added, “Obviously kids nowadays play like Jos Buttler or Ben Stokes and that was never part of my game. I was always drilling the defensive shots as a 14 or 15 year-old. In Test cricket you can grind away, get a 30 off 100 balls, which isn’t pretty but gets you going. In one-day cricket you can’t do that and I wasn’t batting well enough to get going.”

While Cook found success in Test cricket, his limited-overs record was at best middling. In 92 ODIs, he scored 3204 runs at 36.40 including five centuries and 19 fifties.

Explaining why he decided to pull the plug on his international career at a relatively young age of 33, Cook said it was in the making for almost year-and-a-half. “The decision to retire wasn’t just made after the Trent Bridge Test (against India in 2018), it was happening for 18 months before. It’s sad to say, when it’s something you dream about and you just lose that little bit of fire,” he said.

He continued, “After grinding my way through it a number of times, with the captaincy, I didn’t have that much more to give, unfortunately. I remember lying on the outfield in New Zealand and saying to (bowling coach) Chris Silverwood ‘I think I might have gone here’. He persuaded me to play the summer, but it wasn’t just that snapshot. It was a big thing to give away.”