Chris Woakes and Ollie Pope have been added to England‘s squad ahead of their final Test clash with India, with former captain Alastair Cook primed for his curtain call at The Oval.
Warwickshire star Woakes and Surrey batsman Pope come in to make a 13-man squad that will prepare for the fifth Test that starts on Friday in London.
England wrapped up a 3-1 series victory with their 60-run triumph in the fourth Test in Southampton, and will now bid to hand Essex star Cook a farewell win before his international retirement.
Cook has racked up an England record 12,254 runs in 160 Tests for England, with 32 centuries, but the 33-year-old will retire after one more tussle with India.
England’s squad – the same XI that faced India in the fourth Test plus Woakes and Pope – offers precious few clues as to the long-term direction of the side once Cook departs.
It also remains to be seen who will keep wicket, with Jos Buttler having stepped into the role in Southampton given Jonny Bairstow was struggling with a broken finger.
Pope will link up with England on Thursday morning, after playing for Surrey in the first two days of their County Championship division one clash with Essex in Chelmsford.
ENGLAND SQUAD TO FACE INDIA AT THE OVAL: Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Sam Curran (Surrey), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
James Anderson believes he could never have become England‘s all-time leading Test wicket-taker without Alastair Cook’s help.
Cook will retire from international duty after the fifth and final Test against India, that starts at The Oval on Friday.
And pace great Anderson, out on his own in England terms with 559 Test wickets and counting, hailed the former skipper’s impact on himself and those around him.
“He’s probably the most driven person I’ve ever met,” said Anderson, in his column for The Sun.
“His work ethic is phenomenal. He trains harder physically than anybody and works tirelessly in the nets.
“He is an incredible example to everyone and I include myself in that.
“I don’t think I’d have achieved what I have without Cooky, not just as a colleague and captain but as a friend and someone I look up to. I’ve always tried to follow his example.
“As a cricketer, he is the consummate professional. As a bloke, he is down to earth, loyal and caring.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 3, 2018
Cook has racked up an England record 12,254 runs in 160 Tests, with 32 centuries, and now has the chance to bow out on his own terms, aged 33.
Anderson admitted the England squad struggled to keep emotions in check when the Essex star explained his decision.
“It’s not often that you get a bunch of blokes moved by something,” said Anderson.
“But there were a few lumps in throats on Sunday evening because we’ve all been through so much together. Cooky had to keep his speech quite short because of the emotion.
“I was surprised and sad when he told me in Nottingham.
“But he says he knows the time is right and we all have to respect his decision.”
As Alastair Cook gets ready for his international swansong with, the tributes have been pouring in from all quarters.
Described as the rock of England’s batting by his mentor Graham Gooch, the England opener has played many an innings of note in the span of his 160-Test long international career.
We take a look at five of the greatest innings played by the southpaw.
104 – India v England, Nagpur 2006
It is no surprise to see Cook’s maiden Test century features in the list given the circumstances it was scored in. Following his performances for the England Lions in their tour of the Caribbean, Cook was drafted in as a last-minute replacement for Michael Vaughan in the first Test against India at Nagpur.
The then 21-year-old notched up a 160-ball 60 in the first innings before registering his maiden Test ton in the second innings in conditions completely alien to the ones he was accustomed to at Chelmsford with Essex. In doing so, the left-hander became only the fifth Englishman to score a century and a half-century in his debut Test.
110 – England v Pakistan, Oval 2010
One of the hallmarks of Cook’s England career has been his ability to bounce back from the toughest of situations. During Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010, the opener had only managed just 47 runs from the first five innings and his place in the squad was being questioned.
The turnaround came in the second innings of the third Test at The Oval where Cook slammed a majestic 110 in testing conditions. Despite England losing the match, that innings cemented Cook’s position in the team at a time when murmurs of a potential axing were growing.
294 – England v India, Edgbaston 2011
The Edgbaston Test between England and India was another example of Cook’s ability to bounce back from a lean spell. Prior to the match, the southpaw had only aggregated 20 runs in his four innings.
After England bowled India out for 224 in their first innings, Cook and Andrew Strauss put on 186 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was dismissed. Cook, though, marched on with a chanceless innings of 294. Not once did the opening batsman give any opportunity to the bowlers in his 13-hour vigil at the crease as England declared after a mammoth 710-7.
A maiden triple-ton eluded him after he holed out following his first lapse of concentration but his innings remains the sixth-highest by an England batsman.
190 – India v England, Kolkata 2012
That Cook absolutely loves batting against India seems a distant memory following his struggles in the ongoing Test series but it remains a fact.
Taking over the England captaincy from Strauss in 2012, Cook went on to register three tons in as many matches on the team’s tour of India. In the third Test at Kolkata, the opening batsman was once again unflappable as he piled on 190 runs in England’s first innings. It took a run-out to end his stay at the crease but his knock had ensured victory for the visitors which gave them a 2-1 lead in the series. It was a lead Cook and his men would not relinquish as England completed a Test series win in India for the first time in 28 years.
Cook’s ability to thrive in subcontinent conditions set him apart from many other overseas batsmen. The nine tons he has scored in those conditions is the most by any non-Asian batsman in history.
235 – Australia v England, Brisbane 2010
In the first Ashes Test of 2010-11 at Brisbane, Australia had taken a huge 221-run lead in the first innings. With their backs against the wall, England put up monumental 517-1 in the second innings before declaring.
Cook led England’s reply with an unbeaten 235 which was his second century ton on Australian soil. That was just the start of a prolific series for the batsman who would go on to aggregate 766 runs in eight innings in the series as England won the Ashes Down Under for the first time in over 24 years. That incredible run from Cook included tons at Adelaide and Sydney too.