Alastair Cook says record-breaking James Anderson is 'England's greatest cricketer'
Last Updated: 11/09/18 7:33pm
Alastair Cook says James Anderson is "England's greatest cricketer" after he became the most prolific seamer in Test cricket.
Cook, speaking after being named Man of the Match for scoring 71 and 147 in his final Test before retirement, said: "It's been a privilege to play with, I think, England's greatest cricketer, the way he has constantly kept going.
"No disrespect to any other guys but his skill to do it time and time again.
"You almost take it for granted that he is going to hit a length from ball one to the 90th over, swing it when it swings and when there's nibble wobble it away.
"When he doesn't, you think 'What's wrong?' It shouldn't be like that. We do take him for granted. It was only fitting he got the wicket and knocked middle stump out to win a Test for England.
"It's a phenomenal effort and god knows how many wickets he is going to end up with. It's been a privilege to watch him work and share so many good times with him."
Cook and Anderson played 130 Tests together but the outgoing opener says he will not only miss teaming with the seamer on the field.
"To see Jimmy pass McGrath's record was just brilliant. We have literally lived in each other's pockets for 12 years," he added.
"There is a picture of us and Swanny [Graeme Swann] lying in a bed in India fast asleep, all three of us in the same position. It probably shows how close we have become.
"I have played so much cricket with him and [Stuart Broad] Broady and I know I will never stand at first slip and drop another catch off one of those two again!
"I will miss the number of flights we have taken, room service, dinners out, hours on the field we have spent together - but it will be a privilege to sit and watch Jimmy continue to take wickets."
England captain Joe Root is adamant Anderson, 36, can go on for a while yet. "There is still a lot left from Jimmy, I'm sure," said Root, after his side's 4-1 series win over India.
"To achieve what he has to date is unbelievable - I think the scary thing is that you still feel he has got a good couple of years left if he keeps playing as he is.
"In my opinion, he is the best he has ever been. Hopefully that can continue for many more years."
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