Former England captain Alastair Cook, who is one of the best Test players, has played with and against some of the greatest players like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakara and many more. But for him, West Indies legend Brian Lara is the best.
Former Test opener retired at the young age of 33, but still, he is the highest run-scorer and century-maker in Test cricket for England. He has 12472 runs and 33 Test centuries in 161 Tests.
Cook recalled the 2004 tour to West Indies where he witnessed the eye-popping innings of Lara. The former England captain was awestruck to see Lara’s batting level and became a fan of him.
“Brian Lara scored a century between lunch and tea which made me realise I was witnessing another level of batsmanship altogether. It was genius at work,” said Cook, in a Q&A with the Sunday Times.
Alastair Cook Believes Virat Kohli Is Close To Brain Lara’s Level:
The 35-year old, who has captained in 59 Tests and 69 ODIs, has named four batsmen who came close to Lara’s batting level during their career.
Australia’s former captain Ricky Ponting, Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara, and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis, who is the greatest allrounder of all the time, are the four cricketers in Alastair Cook’s list.
Cooks believes that there is one more batsman from the current generation who is close to Lara’s as a genius. He believes that Indian captain Virat Kohli can not be avoided and his name should be added in this list of great players.
“Now you would have to put Virat Kohli in that group, especially for his ability to score so freely in all three formats,’ Alastair Cook said.
Virat’s orthodox batting and tactics make him a great player. He is the only player in the contemporary cricket world who averages over 50 in all three formats of the games. Also, he is the top scorer in the shortest formats, including the highest scorer in ODIs since 2017.
The aggressive player has already scored 11867 runs in 248 ODIs with 43 centuries. In Test cricket, he has notched up 7240 runs in 86 matches at an average of 53.62 and with 27 hundreds.