Sir Ian Botham has hailed Alastair Cook for his performance against India in the first Test at Rajkot, claiming that the England skipper could come close to matching Sachin Tendulkar's record of 51 Test centuries.
Cook, during his knock of 130 in the second innings, scored the 30th Test ton of his career, thereby moving ahead of legendary batsman Sir Donald Bradman who had 29 centuries to his name. His score meant that this was his 5th century in India, the highest by a visiting batsman, going past such luminaries as South Africa's Hashim Amla and West Indies duo of Everton Weeks and Clive Lloyd who have four each.
Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for most number of Test centuries with 51 and despite having 30 to his name at present. Botham feels that the England skipper can break Tendulkar's record.
"He just breaks records. I was here in India when he flew halfway around the world to play in Mohali and got a hundred after 30-odd hours travelling, having arrived the night before. He's now got 30 hundreds and is the one player currently playing in world cricket who I believe could get close to Sachin Tendulkar", Botham said to Sky Sports.
"He's not yet 32 and a batsman can go on for a bit longer than the hard-working bowlers and all-rounders. He could bat until he's 36 or 37."
The 31-year-old is England's most capped Test captain with 136 Tests to his name and their leading run-scorer with 10,839 runs. In fact, Cook broke another record at Rajkot when he led his country for the 55th time, breaking Michael Atherton's record of 54 Tests as skipper.
India and England played out an exciting draw in the first Test, with the second game scheduled to take place at Visakhapatnam between 17-21 November.