Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook (AFP Photo)

Alastair Cook announced his retirement at the start of the week and since then, he has been the centre of attention with tributes pouring in from all around. Naturally, he was emotional in the buildup to the fifth and final Test against India that got underway on Friday and because of the ‘fuss’ surrounding his retirement, he was determined to leave an impact.

He did contribute with a 57th Test fifty, giving England the start they have rarely enjoyed in the ongoing series which they have already clinched.

“Because of the emotion I just did not want to not get a score,” Cook was quoted as saying by Sky Sport on Friday. “I was so determined – there is nothing worse than going out and not contributing. All the fuss about the week and you don’t deliver the goods. I am pleased with a bit of a score and disappointed to get out when I did.”

It was a typical innings from the England opener who made his Test debut in 2006 with a century against India. It would be fitting should he finish it with hundred. And for the most part of his stay at the Kennington Oval, it seemed certain that the 32-year-old is en route to a fairytale ending. But then a moment of indecision had him edging one back onto the stumps and he fell on 71.

“I don’t really know why I missed it, to be honest,” Cook said of his dismissal by Jasprit Bumrah. “Whether it kept a bit lower than your subconscious brain thought, whether I could have got forward – I don’t know. It was disappointing. It was a bad shot. But I imagine I’ll be batting again.”

Cook, who is playing in his 161st Test for England and is their all-time leading run-getter in the format, was given a ‘fantastic reception’ by the crowd with Indian team giving him a guard of honour.

“It all happened so quickly. It is really weird. The guard of honour is such a nice gesture, but you are just focused on batting. It doesn’t matter if it is your first game or whatever game it is, and it is very kind of Virat [Kohli] and the Indians, but I was just focusing on the first ball. You probably don’t really appreciate it. The reception I got was fantastic,” Cook said.

Talking about the batting conditions, Cook said, “It has been testing conditions with the new ball but it didn’t nip as much early on in this game, there wasn’t that zip on a slightly slower wicket. There was then a bit of swing when the ball got older but I felt I knew where it was going.”