Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England captain Joe Root has heaped praise on his predecessor and opening batsman Alastair Cook ahead of the latter’s final Test.
Cook announced that he will retire from international cricket after the fifth Test against India at The Oval, which begins on Friday.
Root described Cook as a “role model” and will be forever grateful that the 33-year-old gave him the opportunity to make his Test debut in 2012.
“He’s just phenomenal. He has had a huge influence on me, he gave me the opportunity to play and as a role model there aren’t many people who go about things the way he does,” Root was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “He is a very level-headed bloke – Jos [Buttler] summed it up he’s the most down-to-earth superstar you’ll ever see.
“The way he’s always got time for everyone, that is a great quality to have in any walk of life no matter in a high-pressure environment like international cricket, and I’ll miss him being around.”
Reminiscing further about his international debut, Root admitted that it was incredible to play alongside Cook, who was someone he looked up to.
“I remember seeing Cook as someone walking into the team and making it look so easy from the get-go at the top of the order, the way he started as he did in India [scoring a century on debut in 2006],” Root said. “Making my debut I had to pinch myself to be in the same dressing room as – a number of other guys – but Cook in particular. It makes you feel really excited about being part of a team like that.
“To even be able to say I’ve been involved in playing alongside him – without sounding like everyone else – has been a great honour and I will miss it.”
Cook told Root about his decision to retire after the third Test against India in Nottingham.
Describing the moment when that occurred: Root said: “I was a little surprised but he was adamant in his decision. You could see in his face that it was what he wanted and he’d obviously thought it through and was ready for it.
“When you get that impression from someone there is no point trying to talk them around. Now it is about us as a team giving him the opportunity to celebrate in the best way possible.
“That means going out there and winning this game. It would be a fitting way to finish a fabulous career.
“I don’t think he wants too much fuss but if there was ever a time for it, it is now. I am sure the ground, the occasion, will help him do that.
“Hopefully he can soak up everything that comes with this week and go out and deliver on the field. It would nice to finish with a century, you never know it might be written in the stars for him.”
For a brilliant tribute to Cook, click here: https://cricketblog2.blogspot.com/2018/09/alastair-cook-tribute.html