Brendon McCullum hails Alastair Cook as a 'genius' ahead of second Test
Last Updated: March 13, 2013 4:14pm
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum says England counterpart Alastair Cook is a "genius" who is second only to Australian legend Don Bradman on current form.
Ahead of the second Test in Wellington, which begins this evening UK time, McCullum said the Black Caps were keen to maintain momentum after the drawn first match in Dunedin.
England escaped with a draw after more than a day's play was lost to rain after being dismissed for 167 in their first innings.
Cook scored just 10 in the first innings but responded immediately with a century in the second innings.
"I thought we bowled reasonably well to Cookie the other day, obviously he's a genius batsman," McCullum said.
"His record is testament to that - where he's at in his career at the moment is as good as anyone who has played the game probably, barring Bradman.
"He's enjoying the captaincy as well and leading from the front. We just have to bowl areas where we think we can dismiss him.
"If he's good enough to overcome that, then so be bit - and you move on to
Bradman, acknowledged as the greatest batsman in Test history, averaged 99.94 in 52 Tests between 1928 and 1948.
Cook has scored 24 centuries in 88 Tests at an average of 49.6, including four hundreds in the five Tests since becoming captain.
The Wellington pitch is expected to offer more early bounce than the lifeless Dunedin wicket, and McCullum made no secret of the fact that if he wins the toss he will put England in.
"I think if there's any advantage it's normally on day one - you're trying to look to gain some ascendancy early in the Test match and hence that's why we're looking at bowling first," he said.