Alastair Cook said his century in his final Test innings and the impending birth of his third child have made for the most surreal few days of his life.
Cook scripted his own fairytale at The Oval, scoring a determined century in his final Test innings to back up a fantastic 71 he made in the first dig, not only putting England firmly in the driver’s seat, but also capping off a fine career.
England then declared at 423/8, setting India an improbable 464, before their bowlers rocked India’s top-order on Monday, 10 September. England need seven wicket on the fifth and final Test to take the series 4-1 and give Cook the perfect farewell gift.
When Cook reached his century, courtesy over-throws, the crowd got up on their feet and the applause wouldn’t cease, so much so Cook was embarrassed by the gesture, and was seen smiling and mouthing the words “come on”. To make things even happier for the veteran of 161 Tests, he is also expecting his third child, which added to the occasion.
“It’s been the most surreal four days of my life really,” said the former England captain after the day’s play. “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 (fan) songs, incredibly special.”
“To perform and have a day like that I suppose after 160 other games, it’s a nice way to go,” he said.
“It’s just time for me, it’s time for my family and now it makes it even better. It’s always nice people wanting you a little bit more than trying to kick you out and to go out on your own terms (makes it special).