Virat Kohli: Asked Alastair Cook if he had second thoughts about retirement after farewell century
- 2018-09-12 06:10:00 IST
India captain Virat Kohli called Alastair Cook a "great, great ambassador" for cricket, saying he has great respect for the purist in the retiring England opener.
Kohli pointed out that the former England captain has had an "amazing career" as he had not just braved difficult batting conditions throughout his career at home but also scored runs all over the world.
The 29-year-old also revealed that he had asked Cook if he was having second thoughts about retirement after the flawless ton in his final Test knock at the Oval.
The 33-year-old finished his celebrated Test career with 12,472 runs, which puts him at the fifth spot of all-time scorers behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921), Ricky Ponting (13,378), Jacques Kallis (13,289), and Rahul Dravid (13,288).
He was enjoying his batting all over again: Kohli
"I asked him [Cook] on the field whether he had second thoughts (about retirement) now that he made 147. He said 'not at all'. He felt more relieved more than anything else. You could see, he was enjoying his batting all over again," Kohli told the media after the fifth and final Test in London.
"I congratulate him on the amazing career. We understand how difficult batting can be even if one plays here regularly. But the fact that he has scored so many runs all over the world shows the determination he's always had.
"To be able to play 160 Test matches and have the longest run of not missing a Test is a great example for everyone to love Test cricket — to have so much determination and passion for your country.
"He's been a great, great ambassador for the game. I certainly have a lot of respect for him because he's one guy who has never gone out of the line ever. Doesn't say a word to anyone in a negative manner but carries on with his work always."
Cook had a fairytale ending to his Test career as he scored a match-winning second innings ton and helped England complete a 4-1 win over Kohli's touring side.
The left-handed opener, known for playing Test cricket the way it was meant to be played, was the star of two of England's greatest series wins of the 21st century — 2010/11 Ashes Down Under and 2012/13 series win in India.
The fifth and final Test of the recently-concluded series was all about Cook as the Oval crowd celebrated each and every run from his blade. The prolonged standing ovation he received after reaching the ton on Monday was one of the most heartwarming sights in sport.
I can walk away with my head held high: Cook
While insisting that he had an amazing last few days during his farewell Test, Cook once again reiterated he wouldn't be going back on his retirement decision.
"It's been the most amazing week, one you couldn't have scripted. Just been amazing, great to contribute to an England win, and win the series 4-1, and also a great game of cricket, to go into the last session of the last day with all four results possible, great advert for Test cricket," Cook said on Tuesday.
"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."