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Alastair Cook serves his last with a century on the top

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108   //    11 Sep 2018, 19:17 IST

England v India: Specsavers 5th Test - Day Four
Alastair Cook bids adieu with a magnificent hundred

"Just like any other chef, Cook saved the best for the last!"

England's highest run-getter and perhaps the greatest of all time, Alastair cook delivered a brilliant show just before bringing down the curtains in his final Test at the Oval. After struggling for a while in Test cricket, Cook played a knock of 147 runs to culminate his glorious cricket career that lasted over 12 years.

He had made his Test debut against India in Nagpur in 2006 after being called in as the replacement for Marcus Trescothick. The young bloke from Gloucester looked innocent but showcased immense maturity and promise with the bat on his debut innings. He scored a brilliant century on the dry and turning Nagpur wicket to stamp his credibility. Now, he scored a century while playing his final Test against the same opponent. It appears as if after 12 years, his career came a full circle at the Oval.

Cook scored a brilliant century in his last Test innings at the oval, following up a score of 71 in the first innings of the last Test of the series against India. He was batting at 96 in the second innings when a wild overthrow from Jasprit Bhumrah provided five runs to Cook and helped him reach the three-figure mark.

He was not amongst runs for last one year and was under constant pressure and scrutiny. But, when he reached his hundred the entire crowd erupted in joy and clapped ceaselessly to applaud and hail their beloved cricketer. They came in great numbers to express their love and respect for their favourite cricketer and he didn't disappoint them at all. Almost perpetual ovation and gratitude made Cook overwhelmed. However, he managed well to control his emotions and continued with his batting.

He ended his career tally with more than 12000 runs and 33 centuries in Tests. He has probably amassed runs and scored hundreds in every corner of the world. He also contributed significantly as a captain. He was handed over the reigns after Andrew Strauss's retirement in 2012. He successfully led the English team to various victories and held it together in the time of crisis. In 2012, he successfully led England to win its first Test series in India since 1984-85.

Every time he fell down, he bounced back strongly. He always displayed the courage to fight. Resilience is possibly his biggest trait, and of any sportsperson for that matter. Though he has scored many centuries, his hundred at the Oval will stand out from the rest.

He is perhaps the greatest left-hand opener in the Test history. He played the game with dignity and has left a legacy to follow. His contributions are immense and he would always be remembered with love and respect. Long live the Legend!

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