Judging by his ODI statistics, Tom Cooper is a far greater batsman that Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master averages 44 runs a game, while The Dutch superstar outscores him by nearly ten runs an innings. Stats don’t lie.
Cooper has been a solid middle-order player for the past five seasons for the Redbacks in all forms of the game. After debuting in 2008, Cooper has thrived in limited-overs cricket, while his Shield form has been hot and cold.
He made an explosive start to his ODD career, with a sparkling 53 against the Warriors. The now 26 year old bettered that tally three games later, when he thumped NSW to all parts of the SCG on his way to a confidence boosting 101.
Solid form on the domestic front earned Cooper a spot in the Prime Minister’s XI side to take on the West Indies. Given a chance at the top of the order, Cooper wowed the Canberra faithful with an innings of unbridled power. Chasing 400 for victory, Cooper did everything humanly possible to get his side over the line. He smashed 160 off just 120 deliveries, including half a dozen towering sixes. While the West Indies went on to win, Cooper’s efforts suggested he could cut it on the international stage.
It didn’t take long for Cooper to take the next step in his cricketing career. Surprisingly, he chose to play for the Netherlands, as his mother was born in Dutch New Guinea.
His decision quickly paid off, with scores of 80*, 87 and 67 in his first three internationals. Two games later, he scored his maiden century with 101 against the almighty Afghanistan.
Cooper was a consistent performer for the Dutch in the 2011 World Cup. He finished as their second highest scorer with 174 runs. The highlight of his campaign was an unbeaten half-century against the West Indies.
While he hasn’t featured as prominently in the Shield side, Cooper has been a mainstay in the Ryobi Cup squad. His big hitting has gotten his side over the line on a number of occasions, while his part-time off-spin has been more than handy over the years.
Cooper played for the Adelaide Strikers in the first instalment of the KFC T20 Big Bash League, where he made 101 at an average of 33.67.
However, in 2012/13, Cooper linked up with the Melbourne Renegades as part of their extensive recruitment drive. The move benefited both parties, with Cooper scoring an impressive 149 runs for the tournament. His middle-order hitting was an excellent foil for the all-out aggression showcased by Aaron Finch, and helped his side finish on top of the ladder.