After beating India by 118 runs in his farewell Test match, Alastair Cook said that the past one week has been ‘amazing’ and something that could not have been scripted.
Speaking in the post-match presentation ceremony, Cook said, “Most amazing week, one you could not have scripted. Just been amazing, great to contribute to an England win, and win the series 4-1. It was also a great game of cricket, to go into the last session of the last day with all four results possible. It was a great advert for Test cricket.”
“It has been great moment, sad moments. 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.”
Calling James Anderson England’s best player of all time, Cook said, “To see Jimmy pass Glenn McGrath’s record was brilliant. That was the hardest bit, him and Broady are the ones I’ve played the most with, to know I’ll never stand at slip and drop another catch off them is sad. We’ve lived in each other’s pickets for 12 years.”
“Been a privilege to play with England’s greatest cricketer, no disrespect to any other guys. But his (Anderson’s) skills to do it time and time again, you almost take it for granted, that’s he’s going to hit a length. The game was a little bit tight, but he didn’t miss his length once.”
An emotional Anderson said, “Happy that Cooky was on the field to see that wicket, it’s been a tough week. When they were building the partnership it was looking like they would get close, my job was just to hold an end. Thankfully we took the new ball and gave me a chance to get the wicket. Cook has been brilliant, just being there all the time.”
England captain Joe Root hailed India for their spirit and said, “Everyone watching would have been thrilled as well. India batted really well to get into that position in the final session. Alastair has been such an exceptional player for a long time. He has been a huge part of our dressing room. Jimmy has a lot left I am sure. To achieve what he has is unbelievable.”
“Anderson has been bowling as well as he ever has. Hopefully, he can continue for many more years. We are growing all the time. Some young guys have stood up and performed. We have a lot of learning to do.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli felt that the visitors were not outplayed except during one Test. “I think the 1-4 scoreline is a fair one as England played better than us but we were not outplayed barring the Lord’s Test. The kind of cricket we have played might not show on the scorecard. But both the teams know this series has been a competitive one,” he said.
“This has been a great advert for Test cricket. The fans will come and watch if both teams play for a win. The basic idea was to go out there and play the cricket we are supposed to do,” he said. “England are a professional side and we realised that the game could change with in two-three overs.”
“England also don’t go for draws and they played fearless cricket and so did we. That is why you won’t see draws in these kind of series. I think a lot of credit has to go to the two young guys (Rahul and Pant). I am delighted for both the guys and it speaks of India’s future. We did not take our opportunities.”
Praising Pant, Kohli said, “Pant showed a lot of grit and character. We have character in the team and we just need some experience. When you get into a zone when you are not thinking about the result, things go your way. We can take a lot of heart from this but we need to apply ourselves better the next time around.”
“There is a reason why we voted Sam (Curran) to be the Man of the series. It takes character to come in and play like that. He put England forward in the 1st and 4th Test match.