Captain Alastair Cook needs only 32 more runs to break Graham Gooch’s record of 8,900 Test runs for England while Jimmy Anderson will reach 400 wickets with one more victim on Yorkshire soil.
Cook scored a majestic 162 in England’s second innings at Lord’s, with that innings going a long way to see England rally from early trouble to take the thrilling series-opener by 124 runs.
But Cook still thinks his long-time mentor Gooch would have to go down as the better batsman, based on the bowling he faced, even though it remains a mark to be celebrated.
“It would be a lovely moment. I wouldn’t put myself anywhere near in his class but it would be a great moment,” Cook said.
“However nice it would be if I do score 30, 31, 32 or whatever it is to pass the great man that won’t be enough for the game.??
“If I’m lucky enough to get that it will be a moment I’ll remember but if I am 30 not out it’s important in a game situation I go on and get a big score.
“I wouldn’t be here, or anywhere near here, without Goochie’s help, so it will be slightly strange if I do go past his record because without his hard work and dedication to me and my game, I wouldn’t have scored half the runs I would have done.
“It’s a bit of a strange one. But there will only ever be one Graham Gooch. He’s England greatest-ever batsman.”
Cook is expected to captain an unchanged side after the Lord’s fightback, with debutants Adam Lyth and Mark Wood keeping their place in the side. Lyth failed to make much of an impact with two low scores while Wood claimed four wickets and bowled with more pace than any other bowler on display.
Whereas England have no injury concerns, New Zealand have doubts over wicket-keeper BJ Watling and big-hitting all-rounder Corey Anderson.
Watling suffered a knee injury keeping on the opening day at Lord’s where Tom Latham took the gloves for the rest of the match. Latham will not be asked to take over again, with the uncapped Luke Ronchi coming in for a debut.
Anderson suffered a back injury and was only able to bowl three overs in the opening match, leaving New Zealand’s other bowlers to take on a much heavier workload.