Alastair Cook scores 84 for Essex in first County Championship appearance of season
England's two-Test series against Pakistan starts at Lord's on May 24, live on Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 01/05/18 9:46am
Alastair Cook struck welcome runs ahead of England's Test series against Pakistan with 84 for Essex at Hampshire on his first appearance of the Specavers County Championship season.
Cook had a top score of 44 in eight innings since his unbeaten 244 in the Boxing Day Ashes Test at the MCG, but looked in good nick in Southampton as he stroked 11 fours in a 138-ball knock before being caught behind.
The former England captain told Sky Sports News last week that he retained the "desire" for international cricket but that he had a "point to prove" with his double ton in Melbourne the only time he passed fifty in 13 Test innings across the winter in Australia and New Zealand.
Cook - England's leading Test run scorer of all time with 12,028 in 154 matches - is also available for Essex's Championship games at home to Yorkshire from Friday and at Worcestershire from May 11 ahead of the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's from May 24.
The opener is poised to come up against England team-mates Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow against Yorkshire at Chelmsford later this week, with the duo made available for that fixture as well as the Tykes' encounter with Surrey at the Oval from May 11.
James Anderson is also set to play twice for Lancashire before the first of two Tests against Pakistan - against Somerset at Old Trafford from Friday and then against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge a week later, a match Stuart Broad is also due to feature in for the home side.