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.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine