Winning at The Oval is just a matter of pride for India as they seek to pull the Test series back to a 3-2 defeat. However, Cook and Root were intent on rolling back the years together for England one last time.
Retiring opener Cook also passed the mark of Kumar Sangakkara to become the fifth-highest Test run-scorer of all time, before he clinched an emotional century – through the result of a horrendous overthrow – and his 33rd overall in England whites.
Then shortly after lunch, Root managed to sign off from an otherwise personally disappointing series with his 14th Test ton, as England extended their second-innings lead beyond 300.
Root (125) and Cook (147) finally were dismissed via back-to-back balls from the spin of debutant Hanuma Vihari, with the latter walking off to a rapturous ovation and handshakes from the Indian team.
Jonny Bairstow (18) and Jos Buttler (0) came and went but it was scant consolation for India – who must now concentrate on batting out a draw.
England declared on 423-8 and set India a mammoth target of 464. And the visitors looked all but finished when Jimmy Anderson removed Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara to draw himself level with Glenn McGrath as the top pace wicket-taker in Tests. Stuart Broad found Virat Kohli’s edge, who trudged off for a miserable golden duck.
KL Rahul offered brave resistance as he neared a half-century (46), but India face the almost impossible to save the Test on day five – creaking on 58-3.
Check out all the statistics below:
England‘s retiring batsman Alastair Cook said the final Test of his career has been one of the most ‘surreal’ of his cricketing life.
Cook finished his England batting career with a fine 147 against India at The Oval on Monday.
The veteran was applauded numerous times by the crowd in south London and he did not disappoint the 19,000 spectators, reaching his 33rd century in 161 Tests in strange circumstances – through four overthrows.
The former England captain struggled to explain how it all felt. “It’s been the most surreal four days of my life really,” he said. “I suppose if she (Alice, his wife) goes into labour tonight that will probably top it off but it’s been incredible.
“There’s a few of my friends here as well so for that all 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 (fan) songs, incredibly special.”
When asked if it was his best day ever in cricket, Cook said it was a “different day”.
“On a purely selfish point of view I couldn’t have asked for a better week for me so yes on that side but obviously there have been bigger things in more important games that have meant more.”
Cook said the match had been emotional for him with family and friends in attendance.
“To perform and have a day like that I suppose after 160 other games, it’s a nice way to go.”
The incident occurred during the second day of the fifth Test against India, when the England bowler grabbed his cap from Dharmasena before saying something to the umpire.
In Buttler’s opinion, it wasn’t much.
“Shared probably a couple of words and that’s about it,” Buttler said.
See what else Buttler had to say in the video below.