Adam Lyth is backing fellow opener Alastair Cook to reel in Sachin Tendulkar to become the leading Test Match run-scorer of all time.

Cook scored a brilliant unbeaten 244 in the first innings of the recent fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne, a draw which the visitors dominated.

His effort was England’s standout individual performance of a series which sees them 3-0 down with one to play, starting on Thursday (11.30pm Wednesday UK) at the SCG.

Lyth opened the batting with fellow left-hander Cook in the 2015 Ashes, and he is confident the 33-year-old can bridge the near 4,000-run gap between himself and former Yorkshire overseas batsman Tendulkar, now retired.

Cook currently has 11,956 runs, while Tendulkar has 15,921.

Lyth said: “It all depends on how long Alastair wants to play for. If he wants to play until he’s 36 or 37, why can’t he go beyond the great Sachin?

“He’s obviously got the hunger to keep going now. It’s whether that’s the same in two years.

“I’m sure it will be there, and I’m sure he’ll have the record in his sights.

“I hope he can do it. It would be fantastic to have an Englishman as the leading scorer of all time.

“What Alastair has done in the game is phenomenal

“Opening the batting is the hardest place to bat. To do that for 150 games, he’s going to have a few bad ones.

“Unfortunately for England, they came at the start of the series.

“He’s shown what a class act he is. Let’s hope he does that again in Sydney and also in New Zealand in a couple of months, another tough series.”

Lyth knows just how hard it is to score big double hundreds, having done so four times in Championship cricket himself.

His first, 248 not out against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 2012, also saw him carry his bat.

“I was very tired and fatigued when I did it, but also in the zone,” he recalled. “Looking back at my knock, I just had to keep telling myself ‘Keep going’.

“The fatigue in a knock like that is more mental than physical. That’s where your partner at the other end can help you out.

“I was delighted to do it, but god knows what it must feel like to do it in a Test Match.

“Alastair played an unbelievable knock on one of the greatest occasions in cricket, a Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

“It showed at Melbourne that when someone goes really big like Alastair did and you post a total, you’re in the game for a long period of time.

“It was a fantastic knock from him.

“If a couple of others had done similar to him or Steve Smith, I’m sure England would have been in a strong position.

“I’ve been a little bit surprised with how one-sided it’s been, but a lot of it seemed to be down to Joe (Root) and Alastair. If they’d come out and scored a lot of runs, we’d have had more of a chance.

“Saying that, there are others there, and you can’t just rely on two guys.

“To be fair to Australia, they’ve played some good cricket. But there’s one Test to go. Hopefully England can put in another strong performance.”

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