Jos Buttler marvels at ‘down-to-earth superstar’ Alastair Cook
To be able to watch Alastair Cook from close quarters was a tremendous experience for Jos Buttler. @Getty

Jos Buttler has termed the outgoing Alastair Cook, England’s leading run-getter in Tests, as the “most down-to-earth superstar” he has met and hopes that the team can send the former captain into retirement from international cricket with another win over India.

The fifth Test between India and England at Kia Oval from Saturday will be Cook’s 161st and final Test. In his column for Sky Sports, Buttler paid tribute to the titan of English cricket by saluting his fitness and focus.

“His longevity has been incredible and he is a great of cricket, not just English cricket,” wrote Buttler, England’s highest run-scorer of the India series. “It has been a fantastic international career and hopefully he can have a fitting send-off at The Oval. Cookie will be hugely missed in our dressing room – he is the most down-to-earth superstar I have ever met. He is a genuine, humble bloke, a great team man and a great role model for us all.

You could never tell if he had scored a double-hundred or got out cheaply as he is always very level-headed, consistent in his outlook and incredibly hardworking.”

Cook, 33, is the owner of an England-record 12, 254 Test runs and 32 centuries. Buttler, himself a fitness freak, marvelled at Cook’s longevity and physical stamina.

“He is incredibly fit. I think he’s probably used one pair of gloves for his whole career such is how little he sweats! He never looks tired or out of breath, which is testament to his dedication,” he wrote. “To play nearly all of his Test matches consecutively and retain such consistent form, especially up the top of the order in England is quite incredible. You run out of superlatives to describe him.”

To be able to watch Cook bat from close quarters and share a changing room with him was a tremendous experience for Buttler.

“Cookie’s shoes are big ones to fill as he has been a rock in the side and changing room for 12 years. Alastair is always there for you whether you’ve played one game or a hundred games, he treats everyone the same and always has time and advice for people if they want it,” he wrote. “Cookie told the lads that he was retiring in the dressing room on Sunday night after our win at The Ageas Bowl. It was obviously very emotional for him – telling the team is probably the hardest bit. We then shared memories, celebrated the win and toasted him.

“It would be great for Cookie to sign off with a 33rd Test hundred and I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of the celebration of his career, which he is no doubt going to get at The Oval.”