England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes his Test and ODI skipper Alastair Cook can be the batsman to overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s numerous records in international cricket, especially in the longer format of the game.
Cook has played just 92 Tests and is more than 8,000 runs shy of Tendulkar’s tally but Pietersen feels, looking at Cook’s insatiable appetite for big knocks, he is the man to challenge the Master Blaster.
“For me he's the right man to lead England, he's doing a great job for us and he will continue to get better and better and break every record anyone's ever set, certainly in the English game. He's on target to go for Tendulkar's numbers, if you look at the numbers and look at his age," Pietersen was quoted as saying in an interview with Darren Gough.
While Cook has had a great run as a batsman and especially after he became skipper, a look at the numbers reveal it might not be that easy.
Cook has 7,524 runs at 49.17 in 92 Tests and 163 innings with 25 centuries and 29 fifties. Tendulkar’s overall record reads: 15,837 runs in 327 innings at 53.86 with 51 centuries and 67 fifties.
After Tendulkar played 92 Tests, he still had a better record than Cook. The Indian played lesser innings than Cook, 147 and scored 7,752 runs at 58.72 with 28 centuries and 31 half-centuries.
In fact, purely from a numbers point of view, Cook looked more likely to catch Tendulkar when he had played 50 Tests.
Cook had scored 3,654 runs by then at 42.98 with 10 tons and 20 fifties. After 50 Tests, Tendulkar had 3,438 runs at 49.82 with 11 centuries and 16 fifties.
Tendulkar might not have a lot of years left in him but he has already churned up the runs while Cook, just 28, has age on his side. If he can keep up his form, he can go on to play for another seven to eight years.
What also helps Cook is that he opens the batting and hence has more chances to score big hundreds or double hundreds than a middle-order batsman like Sachin Tendulkar.
There is a general belief that Tendulkar’s records, especially the number of runs he has scored, might never be conquered given the arrival of Twenty20s but if there is someone capable of getting close, it could well be Cook.
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