Alastair Cook rates Joe Root as the best he's ever played with after England's first day against West Indies
Alastair Cook hailed the genius of Joe Root and labelled him the best Englishman he has ever played with after his captain’s record-breaking innings on day one of the first Test against the West Indies.
This match in Birmingham, the first day of which finished with England in control on 348 for three, was always going to be a landmark moment given it is the first day-night Test in the UK.
Root, though, gave the sell-out Edgbaston crowd something to remember by posting a 50-plus score for the 11th successive Test, breaking the 46-year England record established by John Edrich back in 1971.
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And even though Cook outscored his successor as captain, reaching the close unbeaten on 153 after Root’s dismissal on 136, he still felt moved to hail the Yorkshireman’s brilliance.
“It’s fairly frustrating when you have a 22-run start and he beats you to hundred by 20 balls,” said Cook. “He makes it look so easy. I think he is the best English player I have played with.
“He is phenomenally consistent against world-class bowlers around the world. He is genius and an unbelievable player to watch from the other end. He is a lesson to us all.”
Cook was pleased to have scored his first Test hundred in 17 innings, a run stretching back to the first Test against India at Rajkot last November.
“I don’t know why hundreds are such a big thing but I was really pleased with the couple of fifties I got in a tough series against South Africa,” he said. “As a batter you are judged on hundreds and it was nice I was able to cash in and get a big one today.”
Root was pleased his side were able to shrug off the challenge of their first pink-ball Test and take charge of the contest.
“Today was about making sure if we got into a position of strength, we’d drive it forward,” he said. “We went in with an open mind and played the situation in front of us.
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"You want to lead from the front and I’m really pleased with how it went today.
"After the start, it felt like a one-dayer, because we got off to a flier. It was about calming ourselves down. The atmosphere was electric and for Cooky to be 153 not out is great going into tomorrow."