Ind vs Eng: Alastair Cook and Jasprit Bumrah will be pals now

By mid day online desk | London

England batsman Alastair Cook grateful to Jasprit Bumrah after India pacer's overthrow boundary got him his last ton on Day Four of the Oval Test

Jasprit Bumrah

Retiring England batsman Alastair Cook says he has to thank Jasprit Bumrah for saving him from some "heartache" as the overthrow from the Indian pacer brought up his century in the final Test innings of his career on Monday.

Batting at 96, Cook drove Ravindra Jadeja for a single in the cover region. Bumrah aimed hard at stumps and it resulted in giving five runs to the home opener. Cook said it would have been very embarrassing for him if Cheteshwar Pujara had stopped the overthrow and he had started celebrating since he had not noticed the latter chasing the ball, so he will thank Bumrah for the overthrow.


Retiring England batsman Alastair Cook celebrates his century against India at the Oval on Monday. Pic/AFP

"I remember cutting it for 97 thinking that's three more to go. Just as he [Bumrah] let it go I thought, 'hang on a minute — he's launched that pretty hard'. As soon as I saw Ravindra [Jadeja] not anywhere near it I thought 'hang on a minute — hang on a minute'.

'I'll thank him for a while'
"Look, it [the overthrow] saved me a lot of heartache. He's [Bumrah] also caused me a lot of heartache in this series. For him to then give me that little moment there, I'll thank him for a while," said Cook. "Then obviously it erupted. Joe [Root] didn't say anything. He was just saying 'wow'. He was just smiling. I think he was telling me to better take it in. The ovation was just incredible. That's probably the only one I've really taken in and thought 'wow'. Then obviously the last 10-minutes as well today was special," he added.

A surreal goodbye
Cook said the reception since his retirement announcement has been surreal and he is simply thankful enough to go out on a high. "I can't really describe the emotions I have felt in the last few days. It's just been the most surreal four days of my life really. For all that 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' song, it was incredibly special," said Cook.

The opener had managed only 109 runs in seven innings earlier in the series, and said that the century only confirmed his decision to retire. Cook also scored 71 in the first innings. "From a purely selfish point of view, I couldn't have asked for a better week. But there have been bigger things, in more important games, which have meant more. On a purely emotional level, with a lot of my friends and family here, Alice's granddad here, my mum and dad, Alice's mum and dad, most of the farmers from Bedfordshire (his friends) as well. When asked if this could possibly reverse his retirement decision, Cook said no, and added that it wasn't a tough call to hang up his boots.

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