Alastair Cook reflects on his century, clarifies his retirement decision

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Alastair Cook could not have scripted it any better. A century in his final Test innings, England in the driver’s seat and then a final day where his side can walk away with the series 4-1. For the former England captain, it was surreal as he is now part of a select few who scored a century in the first and final match.
“It’s just been the most surreal four days of my life really,” Cook told reporters after play on the fourth day of the Test against India at the Oval.
‘It’s just been incredible’
Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook become only the fifth batsman to score a ton in his maiden and farewell Tests.Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Cook had his entire family in attendance as well a huge number of friends. England’s Barmy Army too was singing songs all for him and this made the entire atmosphere 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,” he added.
It was a tough series for Cook as he kept nicking off deliveries outside the off stump, but he has looked good and assured in the final Test. After scoring 71 in the first dig, he walked away with a sumptuous century. However, for him the pressure of the final match was different.
“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 said.
Speaking about the moment, Cook said that when he cut it away to point, he only thought about a single, but then a sloppy bit of effort from India on the field helped him gallop along to a century.
“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’. he said.
Speaking about his retirement decision, Cook said that it was in his mind for the last 12 months and now is just the right time to bid adieu when things are looking upbeat.
“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,” he conceded.
Cook now wants his team to win the Test match and make the scoreline 4-1, which will be a great statement to make against the number 1 side in the world.