Former England captain Alastair Cook has admitted that Joe Root is the ‘best’ English player he has played with and also described him ‘a genius’ for his abilities on the pitch.
England won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny afternoon at Edgbaston on Thursday against West Indies and put themselves into a commanding position on day one of the inaugural Day-Night Test held in the UK.
Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley were both dismissed for eight runs each in the first eight overs, but a big partnership from Cook and Root ensured the hosts were in the driving seat.
The duo put on 248 runs for the third wicket - a Test record at Edgbaston - with Root scoring his 13th Test hundred while Cook bagged the 31st ton of his career.
At the end of the first day’s play, Cook praised the talent of his successor as England captain and declared him to be among the greats of the game.
“It is fairly frustrating when you have a 30 run start on him and he beats you to hundred by 30," the Essex opener said, as per The Telegraph.
“He [Root] makes it look quite easy when he manages to score like he does. If he is not the best English player I have played with he is right up there. I think he is (the best).”
He commended the Yorkshireman's consistency to score big over the last few years and advised his peers to learn from him.
“To score 50s in 12 consecutive Tests is phenomenal consistency against world class bowlers all around the world. He is genius, and an unbelievable player to watch from the other end in how he moves, his rhythm. He is a lesson to us all.”
Cook appeared to struggle to convert his good starts in centuries during the last series but has a phenomenal record in Birmingham, averaging 63, and after finishing the day on 153 not out, is well set for a huge score.
He added: “I don’t know why hundreds are such a big thing but I was really pleased with those fifties in tough series against South Africa. That 88 (against South Africa at the Oval) was as good a knock as I could play in those conditions.
“It was a tough knock with the ball nipping around against four quality seamers. Today was different. The sun was out, and a flat pitch.”
Thursday was the first chance we got to see the pink ball in action at Test level in England and Cook was also asked about his first impression compared to the red variant.
“The jury is going to be out on pink ball until we know more in two or three years time when we know how it reacts in all situations,” he continued.
“It swung this morning. It kind of swung and offered something throughout the day and then the second new ball swung. The red ball would be the same. If you take conditions today of a clear blue sky, a good wicket to bat on you would be looking to make a good score against the red ball as well.”
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