Ian Botham says Alastair Cook could challenge Sachin Tendulkar's record
Former Three Lions skipper Ian Botham has said that the current England Test captain Alastair Cook has enough time at his disposal to challenge the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s Test record. On 30 May, Cook became the newest member of the 10,000 Test run club and thus became the youngest cricketer ever to reach the milestone. The left-handed batsman also became the first English cricketer to score 10.000 runs in a nine-wicket victory against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.
The 31-year-old needed five runs in the second innings to reach the milestone. He currently has 10,042 runs from 128 Test matches at an average of 46.49 but is still behind the master blaster by quite a big margin.
Tendulkar, who has most runs in Test match cricket has scored 15,921 runs from 200 Test matches at an average of 53.78. To beat or equal Sachin’s record Cook needs to score almost 6,000 runs more in Tests. However, Botham thinks that Cook is the man to chase the mammoth record.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the former England all-rounder said, “I think he’s got a lot more runs to come yet, this is just a milestone for him. He’s 31; he’s got lots of time to go. In five years, he could be chasing Sachin. Who knows?”
The 60-year-old said that Cook will play for the Three Lions for another 5-6 year which gives him a good chance. Botham added, “He is fit enough, strong enough, and we know how mentally tough he is. He could play for five or six more years easily. It’s down to him. It’s how long he wants to play for.”
Tendulkar was 31 years and 10 months old when he breached the 10,000 run barrier but Cook made it to the prestigious club 5 months earlier than the master. However, the England captain also took six more Tests than Sachin to achieve the landmark.
Botham also pointed out the fact that Cook has not played in a single limited-overs match for England since 2014 has worked out well for him. Cook played his last ODI in 2014 against Sri Lanka at Colombo.
Botham concluded, “His best Test cricket has been when he has not been playing one-day cricket. He is so disciplined and it means he doesn’t get caught between the two games. The best thing that happened to him was getting away from the one-day game.”