Alastair Cook reflected on dreams coming true as he signed off as an England batsman with a century in his final Test innings against India at the Oval.
Meanwhile, the hosts are in a strong position to finish the series at 4-1. They only need seven more wickets on the last day to rout India out of this Test while the visitor will be keen to save the match.
Cook got a standing ovation after hitting his 33rd Test century and another after falling for 147. The opener also moved fifth on the list of all-time Test run scorers after topping Kumar Sangakkara to end his career with 12,472 runs.
Talking about this dream finish, Alastair Cook admitted it was a great week and a great way to finish the game.
“Ever since [my England retirement] was announced, I suppose you hope you have a good week. To top it off with a score here is just incredible. Sometimes dreams come true,” Cook said.
“On a purely selfish level, even at the end, fielding at short leg with the Barmy Army singing, it’s why you play sport – occasionally those little selfish moments. It was very special. It’s just been a great week,” he added.
The veteran batsman admitted that he didn’t sense a hundred till he reached the eighties. Adding to this, he noted that nothing could be better than this.
“I didn’t really think about the hundred until I got into the eighties and I felt I had a chance. It was very emotional – there was definitely a lump in my throat with that ovation. I had about 30 friends here and family, so you couldn’t have scripted it. It’s one of those days where you will look back and forever go ‘Wow‘,” Alastair Cook continues.
It’s been a hell of a journey
Cook revealed that it is a special moment to score a hundred for the last time in England jersey. He also recalled the moment when he saw Nasser Hussain scored a hundred in his last Test and wanted to do the same.
“I remember seeing Nasser [Hussain] score a hundred in his final Test and I thought: ‘What a great way to finish!’ For me to say the last time I batted for England I got a hundred is special,” he added.
On beating Sangakkara’s haul of 12,400 Test runs, Alastair Cook said it has been one of a special journey.
“It means a lot to see your name up there but it’s not what you strive to play for. It’s hundreds, winning moments and spending time with and developing a team. It’s been one hell of a journey,” the talismanic scorer concluded.