England batting great Alastair Cook said that the script of his last Test match could not have been written better as he bowed out with a hundred against India in London.
“Most amazing week, one you could not have scripted. Just been amazing, great to contribute to an England win, and win the series 4-1. It was also a great game of cricket, to go into the last session of the last day with all four results possible. It was a great advert for Test cricket,” Cook said at the post-match presentation.
“It has been great moment, sad moments. The amount of hard work, the pressure and strain, I won’t miss that. But you miss the highs and the rewards, playing with this team, be great to see how they develop. This week can’t be beaten, I can walk away with my head held high.”
Cook, who hit a 71 and 147 in the two innings, described James Anderson, who became Test cricket’s highest wicket-taking fast bowler, as England’s best player of all time.
“To see Jimmy pass Glenn McGrath’s record was brilliant. That was the hardest bit, him and Broady are the ones I’ve played the most with, to know I’ll never stand at slip and drop another catch off them is sad. We’ve lived in each other’s pickets for 12 years,” said the 33-year-old opener who retired with 12472 runs from 161 Tests in his name.
“Been a privilege to play with England’s greatest cricketer, no disrespect to any other guys. But his (Anderson’s) skills to do it time and time again, you almost take it for granted, that’s he’s going to hit a length. The game was a little bit tight, but he didn’t miss his length once.”
Anderson, on his part, said, “Happy that Cooky was on the field to see that wicket, it’s been a tough week. When they were building the partnership it was looking like they would get close, my job was just to hold an end.
“Thankfully we took the new ball and gave me a chance to get the wicket. Cook has been brilliant, just being there all the time.”
England captain Joe Root admitted it was a tough series and said India played some exceptional cricket.
“Everyone watching would have been thrilled as well. India batted really well to get into that position in the final session,” Root said.
Talking about Cook and Anderson, he said, “Alastair has been such an exceptional player for a long time. He has been a huge part of our dressing room. Jimmy has a lot left I am sure. To achieve what he has is unbelievable.
“He (Anderson) has been bowling as well as he ever has. Hopefully, he can continue for many more years. We are growing all the time. Some young guys have stood up and performed. We have a lot of learning to do.”