Anderson: 'It's obvious that Cook's talented, probably even more so than Pietersen'

It is bound to happen – in cricket teams, as in offices and on what used to be factory floors – that some colleagues rub along better than others. Presumably, it happens in city trading rooms, if anybody gets on with anybody there, before going for the jugular.

Jimmy Anderson and Alastair Cook are mates in a team where everybody is getting along really, really well, thank you. They occasionally play darts together and there is no clearer sign of friendship than that.

Maybe it is important to consider this when reflecting on Anderson's comments after the close of play on the second day of the second Test. Jimmy's mate Alastair had scored another half-century to add to the bundle of runs he had already compiled in this Test series, whereas the side's highest-profile and biggest personality batsman, Kevin Pietersen, had caused his own downfall with a usual but unwarranted dramatic flourish.

Whether it was friendship, or being aghast at Kevin's latest mode of dismissal – taking on a short ball three overs from the end of the day with all the intent of a Saturday night street fighter – or simple overstatement, Anderson said: "He's got 600, 650 runs in the series – so it's pretty obvious he's talented," Anderson said of Cook. "He's probably more talented than KP.

"KP is so naturally gifted with the shots he's got – and Cookie's not got that. He relies on the shots that he has got, and his mental toughness to get him through. He's shown how talented he is this trip. He's been fantastic."

What Anderson was really saying was what Andy Flower, England's coach, has been demonstrating though his assessments. It takes all sorts to make a cricket team and what Cook has offered at No 2 in this series has been more valuable, as it has turned out, than what Pietersen has provided at No 4.

Day in, day out since Brisbane in late November, Cook has gone and walked the hard yards, not always with aplomb but invariably with unflustered concentration. Pietersen, apart from his supreme innings in Adelaide, has flattered to deceive on many occasions, as he did again yesterday.

"Considering people were questioning his spot during the summer, I think he's shown exactly what a player he is," said Anderson. "He's got huge character, huge talent – and there were no doubts in our dressing room that he was going to perform when he came out here."

What Cook has is the ability to play at all times within his limitations, which can take him to the stars. Pietersen, on the other hand, does not believe he has limitations, which is what makes him a star.

Anderson, like his darts-playing chum, has quietly overachieved on this tour. It was said, rather like Cook would always get out snicking balls outside off stump, that the Kookaburra ball would make a mug out of Anderson because he would not able to swing it.

Instead of which, Cook plundered his way down the eastern seaboard. As for the Kookaburra, named after the laughing bird, Anderson might not have made it laugh, but it has certainly talked at times. "I knew what had been said before I came away, but it didn't bother me," he said. "I knew where my game was at and the ability I've got, and I'm happy that I've made such meaningful contributions towards the successful tour so far."

He took four wickets on the second morning as England threatened to run through Australia, only to be delayed by a ninth-wicket partnership of 76 between Mitchell Johnson, who made a bravura 52, and Ben Hilfenhaus, who merely chanced his arm, much, in both cases, to the tourists' irritation.

"It is frustrating when that happens but it does happen quite often in Test cricket, the tail wagging," said Anderson. "It can be difficult, because certainly Johnson and Hilfenhaus had a licence and free rein to swing the bat. Sometimes it comes off – and it did for Hilfenhaus, who had his eyes shut for the majority of his innings.

"But if you'd given us 280 when they chose to bat on that pitch we'd have taken it, so we were pretty happy with our couple of days' work as bowlers." And so they should have been.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star