India vs England: Alastair Cook thanks Jasprit Bumrah for gifting him a century with overthrow

The former skipper said having family members and a huge number of friends in the stands and England’s Barmy Army singing his song made it very special.

Updated: Sep 11, 2018 09:07:10

By N Ananthanarayanan

Indian players shake hands with Alastair Cook at the end of his innings at the Oval. (REUTERS)

Alastair Cook described his farewell Test as a surreal few days after the England batting stalwart struck a brilliant 147 to join an elite four who have got to a century on debut and last Test.

“It’s just been the most surreal four days of my life really,” Cook told a media conference after play on the fourth day of the Test against India at the Oval. “I suppose if she goes into labour tonight, that’ll probably top it off.”

Cook’s wife Alice is expecting their third child and he could even miss the last day’s play if she goes into labour.

The former skipper said having family members and a huge number of friends in the stands and England’s Barmy Army singing his song made it very special. “It’s incredible – because there’s a few of my friends here as well. For that all to happen today, and every reception I’ve had over the last four days, it’s just been incredible.”

“It was a different day. From a purely selfish point of view, I couldn’t have asked for a better week. But there have been bigger things, in more important games, which have meant more.”

Asked about his debut and last Test against India, he said: “It’s strange how it works. There is whatever word you just used. I don’t know who decides all that stuff.”

Cook said the farewell brought its own pressure. “It’s been one of those weeks where every reception I’ve got, then not to go and get nought, get out early … it has brought a different kind of pressure. To perform and have a day like that, after 160 other games, it’s a nice way to go.”

He reached his century after his single to get to 97 turned into five runs as Jasprit Bumrah’s wild throw went to the boundary. “I remember cutting it for 97 and thinking that’s three more to go. Just as he let it go I thought, ‘hang on a minute - he’s launched that pretty hard’. As soon as I saw Ravi (Jadeja) not anywhere near it I thought ‘hang on a minute… hang on a minute’. Then obviously it erupted.

“I actually thought it was four straightaway. I didn’t see Pujara running after it so it could have been quite embarrassing if I started celebrating and he actually stopped it and I was only on 99 or something. It saved me a lot of heartache.

“He’s (Bumrah) also caused me a lot of heartache in this series. For him to then give me that little moment there, I’ll thank him for a while.”

Despite scoring 218 runs in the Test, Cook is certain it is time to quit.

“It absolutely confirms it. This is not just the culmination of three or four low scores, bad games in a Test series. It’s been something that’s been coming for 12-18 months ... It’s always nice people wanting a little bit more than trying to kick you out, and to go on your own terms makes it even better.”

“Tomorrow if we can top it off with a win and a 4-1 win over the No 1 side in the world, it would make it even more special.

First Published: Sep 11, 2018 09:05:43


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