Pietersen Backs Captain Cook To Be England's Best

by »

Kevin Pietersen has backed captain Alastair Cook to become England’s leading runs scorer in Test cricket after yet another century in the second Test in Mumbai. 


Cook hit 122 and Pietersen scored a classy 186 in their first innings to put England in command of the second Test against India in Mumbai which the visitors wrapped up this morning by 10 wickets.


With those hundreds the pair both moved to 22 Test hundreds, a record-equalling total for England. Cook and Pietersen joined a select group on 22, which includes Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott. Given the way the pair have played in this Test match it is surely a matter of time before one of them breaks the record. 


"Alastair Cook will comfortably surpass any hundred [total] that anybody else who plays for England (gets)," Pietersen told BBC Sport


"He is a super player, he is a super guy. He should go on to score thousands and thousands more runs." 


Asked if Cook could be top of the list and never be beaten, Pietersen said: "He should be, he definitely should. 


"He's only 27. He's a young pup, he is fit. He has a great head. He is very calm and nobody should beat him." 


Pietersen, playing in his second Test since he returned to the England fold after being dropped in August for sending "provocative" text messages to South Africa players, seemed much calmer than in the first Test defeat against India when he only managed 19 runs. 


The South-African born England star went on to add, "Any Test match hundred that you end up being on the winning side, is a lot better than being on the losing side." 


Pietersen, who was unhappy with dressing room relations in August, now insists there is a great spirit among the England players. 


"The dressing room is absolutely fantastic," he said. "We're sticking together really well, all helping each other out - and not letting things get on top of us. If anybody is going through a rough time, everybody else is right behind them.


"We've come here to try and win and want to 'front up' to the challenge," Pietersen added. 


This has been evident particularly in the last few days with the team bouncing back from a first Test thrashing in Ahmedabad to comfortably beat India by 10 wickets in the second Test in Mumbai. 


The biggest positive from the second Test was the manner of victory with Monty Panesar coming into the side and claiming match figures of 11-210. Five wickets in the first innings for the left-arm spinner restricted India to 327 and then Cook and Pietersen set to work against the Indian bowling attack who were well below the standards they had set in the first Test. 


Six wickets for Panesar and four wickets for Graeme Swann in India’s second innings showed how big a mistake it had been to not pick a second out and out spinner in Ahmedabad. 


The third Test of the four match series starts 5 December in Kolkata.