Former England captain Andrew Strauss labelled retiring opener Alastair Cook as England’s “greatest ever player”.
Cook, England’s all-time record run-scorer, walked out to a guard of honour from the Indian team members after being presented with a commemorative cap by Strauss efore play started.
A video produced by the Professional Cricketers’ Association, featuring messages from many of the 74 players who have played with Cook , was shown to the batsman on Thursday.
“It’s incredibly humbling watching all those messages,” said Cook. “Not that I am wishing this week away but once it is out of the way and the dust has settled and life has moved on I think it will be a great watch, just to appreciate how many people I have played Test cricket with and how special everything has been.”
Cook came into the final Test having scored 12,254 Test runs at an average of 44.88 with 32 hundreds. He made 71 on the first day at The Oval.
Strauss told Sky Sports: “That average, that consistency, the number of times he’s passed fifty and obviously the hundreds and the match-winning hundreds he’s got, all combine to make him England’s greatest player ever in my opinion.”
Virat Kohli added: “We have seen too much of him sometimes. He has been a great player for England. What he has done as an opener has been outstanding and he will go down as one of the greatest openers to have played the game.”
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