he prepares to play his final Test, against India at The Oval, Joe Root, the England Test
captain, is hoping the England legend can finish with a century as well.
Cook is the most prolific England batsman, finishing on top of the all-time run-scoring
chart for his country. However, he's been in a lean patch of late, accumulating just 109
runs from the four Tests of the series so far.
Root, though, continued to back his predecessor to get one of the big scores? that
will make it 33 ? for which he's made a name for himself, an ICC report on Friday said."I have seen a century coming for a while, though you might not think it with the scores he has had in the last couple of weeks," Root said on Thursday the eve of the final Test.
"It would seem fitting for him to go out on a high personal note not just as a team ? It
would be nice to start and finish with a century. You never know, it might be written in the
stars," he said.
England have sealed the series 3-1, after wins at Edgbaston, Lord's and Ageas Bowl.
Yet, Root insisted they had lost none of the hunger to make it 4-1, to go with their 2-1 win
in the one-day internationals earlier.
"To beat the No.1 side in the world and make it 4-1 would send a really strong statement
of where we are at as a team and where we are looking to go as a team. It would sum up
a good summer of cricket for us in difficult conditions," he said.
And the desire to give Cook a good farewell was an added motivator. "It means a lot to the whole dressing room and they will be desperate to do everything they can to give him a great send-off," England Test captain said.
"He just deserves a fantastic week and I hope we can deliver that for him," Root said.Continuing to pay tribute to the former captain, Root described Cook as an "inspiration"
and a "role model", and a hero to him.
"I can't think of anyone that comes close to his concentration. To have the record that
he does opening the batting over such a long period of time is phenomenal," he said.
"More than anything, to be such a grounded, hard-working professional. The way that
he conducts himself in the dressing room, to every single person, the respect he has for
the game, for all of his team-mates and the opposition. That is what everyone aspires to
have," the England Test captain said.
"You look at the way he goes about things and he's a real inspiration on the way to carry
yourself as a top pro. So he's going to be very hard to replace. He'll be a massive loss to
our dressing room," Root said.
"I'll miss him being around. Not just for his runs and what he adds to the team but him as
a person as well. You'll never see someone of his stature again in the game," he added.(UNI)