Andrew Flintoff backs Alastair Cook to break Sachin Tendulkar's record

Cook is currently 20 runs shy of 10,000 and should reach five figures during the second Test against Sri Lanka at Durham, which begins on Friday.

The 31-year-old opening batsman still has a long way to go to reach India talisman Tendulkar's record figure of 15,921 runs.

But Flintoff believes his former England team-mate has time on his side and is capable of overhauling the Little Master.

"Can he catch Tendulkar? Why not?" Flintoff told Press Association Sport.

"At a similar age a couple of years ago he had a better record than Tendulkar. He's only 31 so he's got years ahead of him. He can go on another five or six years.

"But the good thing about Alastair is he won't be looking at that. He'll be looking at where he can take this team.

"He's not into personal milestones. When he gets to 10,000 runs he'll get a nice clap from the crowd and raise his bat, but he'll be more focused on the next ball. He's a selfless cricketer."

Of more pressing concern for Cook is the injury to Ben Stokes which has ruled the all-rounder out of the rest of the series against Sri Lanka.

Chris Woakes has been recalled to the side to replace Stokes and Flintoff says the Warwickshire player can fill the void.

Flintoff was speaking while taking part in a series of challenges with ex-footballer Robbie Savage for Jacamo ahead of England's meeting with Wales at Euro 2016.

The former England all-rounder, and star of Freddie Fries Again which starts on Sky 1 on June 7, added: "I'm a massive fan of Ben and it's a huge blow for him.

"However, for the side I don't think it's as big a blow. You are going to get injuries, and you've got someone like Chris Woakes, who would probably get in any other team in the world, coming in.

"It's a blow for Ben and a slight blow for the team, but an amazing opportunity for Chris to establish himself."

:: Freddie's AW16 menswear collection, Flintoff by Jacamo, will be available at from July 2016 ::

  Alastair Cook is closing in on 10,000 Test runs
Alastair Cook is closing in on 10,000 Test runs