Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes that the youngest entrant in the illustrious 10,000 Test run club, Alastair Cook can challenge batting legend Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time Test run record.
Cook became the first England cricketer to cross the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket, and the youngest overall, beating Tendulkar’s record by five months by reaching the milestone at the age of 31 years and five months.
Tendulkar — Test cricket’s most prolific batsman with 15921 runs — was 31 years, 10 months 20 days old when he scored his 10,000th run in 2005.
“Well the big advantage that England always has is that they are always playing a minimum of 11-12 Test matches on an average in a year. In 11-12 Test matches even if you score 50 runs per Test match you are getting about 500 runs every year,” Gavaskar said.
“So over the next 6-7 years there might be a period when he (Cook) might have a terrific year where he might score a 1000 runs so that will certainly give him a chance. He has got age on his side, he is also one of the very fit players. He is less than 32 years and if he plays for 6-8 more years he has got a very good chance,” the legendary batsman told NDTV.
Cook is the 12th batsman and only the second opener to get to 10,000 runs in Tests, after Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara, Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahela Jayawardene, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Gavaskar himself.
Cook achieved the feat during England’s nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Durham.
Asked whether Cook’s achievement was even more special considering that he’s an opening batsman, Gavaskar replied in the affirmative.
“It definitely does because the ball does swing around a little bit more, the pitches can sometimes a little bit lively. So you are playing in different conditions, different pitches. Playing in England is much more difficult against quality opposition. So I think Alastair Cook certainly deserves a lot of praise for getting there,” he said.
Asked to recollect legendary batsmen who missed out on the elite club, Gavaskar said: “Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Viv Richards straightaway come to my mind. Those two are among the greatest. Javed Miandad is another one. He could have got there, the same also for Inzamam-ul Haq.”