alastair cook scores 33rd Test century
Alastair Cook after scoring his 33rd Test century (AFP Photo)

After revealing his intentions to retire after the India Test series, Alastair Cook was willing to walk away earlier, without featuring in the final match of the tour. According to a report, he had told national selector Ed Smith he was free to drop him for the fifth Test at The Oval and that he would understand the decision considering his poor form.

Before his fairytale ending in the final Tests where he aggregated 218 runs including a century, Cook scored 109 runs in the first four matches. Last Monay, the 32-year-old, in a press release, said he was ending his Test career as there was ‘nothing left in the tank’.

According to Daily Mail, Smith, after hearing Cook out, asked him if he had the will to play another Test and England’s most prolific Test batsman replied in positive. Smith then confirmed his place in the playing XI, allowing him a fitting sendoff.

Cook responded with a 71 in first innings and a 33rd Test century in the second dig. During his knock of 147 on Day 4, he also surpassed Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara’s to become the fifth highest run-getter in Tests and thus became the most succesfull left-handed batsman in the format’s history.

Cook described the journey of his final Test as ‘surreal’ at a post-match media interaction on Day 4 as England reduced India to 58/3 in chase of 464.

“It’s been the most surreal four days of my life really. I suppose if she [Alice, his wife] goes into labour tonight that will probably top it off but it’s been incredible.

“There’s a few of my friends here as well so for that all to happen today and every reception I’ve had over the last four days it’s just been incredible, even that last couple of overs when the whole crowd were singing my Barmy Army songs, incredibly special,” Cook said during an emotional press conference.