India vs England | Alastair Cook labels James Anderson as 'England's greatest cricketer'

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India vs England | Alastair Cook labels James Anderson as 'England's greatest cricketer'

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SportsCafe Desk

09/12/2018

Alastair Cook hailed teammate and best friend, James Anderson, as ‘England’s greatest cricketer’ after the pacer overtook Glenn McGrath as the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket amongst fast bowlers. Anderson now trails three legendary spinners - Muttiah Muralitharan, Share Warne, and Anil Kumble.

Cook quit the game in the best way possible as he bagged the man of the match award in the fifth Test against India. Cook registered scores of 71 and 147 across both innings at the Oval as India slumped to a 4-1 loss to end their UK tour on a sour note.

While all the plaudits were directed towards Cook, one player who went under the radar, was England’s bowling spearhead - James Anderson. Anderson became the all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket amongst all fast bowlers. The number one Test bowler overtook Aussie legend - Glenn McGrath to register 564 wickets in the longer format of the game. Which is why teammate and best friend, Cook, was quick to shift the attention towards the pacer and offer his congratulations as well.

"It's been a privilege to play with, I think, England's greatest cricketer. No disrespect to any other guys but his skill to do it time in, time out. You almost take it for granted that he is going to hit a length from ball one to over 90. It shouldn't be like that. It's fitting he knocked out middle stump," Cook said in a post-match interview.

Anderson currently trails the magnificent trio of - Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets), Australia's Shane Warne (708) and India's Anil Kumble (619) in the all-time list. He has been pivotal for the England Test team for a long time and has put in the effort day-in and day-out, including in the series win against Virat Kohli & Co. as well. The 36-year old was happy that his friend was on the field to see him create history.

"When (Rishabh Pant) and (KL) Rahul put on that partnership it looked like they may get close so my job was to hold an end up," said Anderson, at 36 three years older than Cook.I didn't think I'd bowl 14 overs from that end. Thankfully Joe let me take the new ball eventually which gave me a chance to get that wicket. He (Cook) is my best mate and he's been brilliant -- there for me all the time," Anderson added.

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