STORY: England batsman Alastair Cook said he could not have penned the final chapter of his test career any better after he signed off with a memorable 147 against India at the Oval on Monday (September 10).
Starting the day on 46 not out, the 33-year-old left-hander played with the kind of fluency that has been missing from his game this summer as he reached three figures for the 33rd time to help England score 423-8 declared.
Already his country’s most-capped test player with 161, run maker and century compiler, his final flourish with the bat took him to fifth on the all-time test runs list with 12,472.
Cook, whose measured batting has propped up England for 12 years, was given numerous standing ovations throughout an unforgettable day for him and the 19,000 fans who crammed into the historic ground to watch his farewell knock.
“It’s just been the most surreal four days of my life,” said Cook at a news conference.
“The ovation was just incredible. That’s probably the only one I’ve really taken in and thought ‘wow!’.
Cook played with freedom to reach 96 but could hardly have imagined how he would reach three figures as a wild throw from the boundary gifted him overthrows and a ‘five’.
Despite knocks of 71 and 147 at the Oval, he said it is the right time to be stepping aside.