Sunderland won 3-0 against Norwich City in their latest fixture.
Borini and Cattermole both shone in Sunderland’s 3-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The pair were at the heart of everything good the Black Cats did throughout the fixture, with Cattermole’s combativeness and Borini’s finishing ability helping the North East side claim the three points.
Cattermole was a bundle of energy in the heart of midfield, and Crooks believes that the 28-year-old will be crucial to Sam Allardyce’s side’s chances to staying up.
"Lee Cattermole, who seemed to take on his manager's mantle and played like a man possessed," Crooks said.
"If he wasn't diving into tackles, he was heading and kicking balls off the line. I counted three goalline clearances, not to mention his all-round effectiveness and determination.
"If Sunderland are going to survive relegation - and it is still a big if - they are going to need more performances like this from Cattermole. Leadership, both on and off the field, is what's required in relegation dogfights and Sunderland clearly demonstrated that they have that off the pitch in Allardyce and, more importantly, on the pitch in Cattermole."
Borini also made a big impact on the game, as he scored the goal which put Sunderland into the lead from the spot.
The Italian looked bright throughout the match, and Crooks could only praise the former Liverpool man.
"I love striking partnerships and I know Big Sam tends to be more cautious away from home, but Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe's performance at Carrow Road may be the start of a beautiful friendship," the pundit added.
"It was Borini who set up the move which led to the penalty with a glorious first-time ball to Defoe before racing 60 yards to receive the return pass."
Sunderland’s other two goals were scored by Jermain Defoe and Duncan Watmore.
The Black Cats are now only one point from safety, and they have a game in hand over 17th placed Norwich.