James Anderson has heaped praise on his friend and colleague Alastair Cook and credited the outgoing opening batsman with a profound influence on his own career.
Cook announced his retirement from international cricket with the fifth Test against India at the Oval set to be his last.
“He’s probably the most driven person I’ve ever met,” Anderson wrote in his column for The Sun. “His work ethic is phenomenal. He trains harder physically than anybody and works tirelessly in the nets.
“He is an incredible example to everyone and I include myself in that.
“I don’t think I’d have achieved what I have without Cooky, not just as a colleague and captain but as a friend and someone I look up to. I’ve always tried to follow his example.”
Anderson also referenced Cook’s famous and onoging dominance of team fitness tests.
“Cooky’s performances in the bleep tests are legendary.
“Other players would have finished and collapsed in a heap and, five minutes later, they were back on their feet cheering Cooky, who was still going. He is an absolute machine.
“You wouldn’t coach his running style and the same with his batting style.
“That’s just him, the mental side is what stands him out from the rest. It is his ability to be focused and single-minded on the task in hand.
“Everyone can learn from that.”
Anderson, who was told by Cook of his impending retirement during the third Test at Trent Bridge, admitted there were emotional scenes as Cook announced his decision to the rest of the England team on Sunday.
“It’s not often that you get a bunch of blokes moved by something.
“But there were a few lumps in throats on Sunday evening because we’ve all been through so much together. Cooky had to keep his speech quite short because of the emotion.
“I was surprised and sad when he told me in Nottingham.
“But he says he knows the time is right and we all have to respect his decision.”