Chef finishes off in style!

New Delhi: It’s certainly ironic that Alastair Cook started and ended his career against India. What’s more amusing is that he started and ended his career with a century while keeping his elegance and class intact, throughout his magnanimous career.

For some, Alastair Cook was a legendary England captain who stood against all odds and chose what’s better for the team, rather than his personal priorities. For others, he was a class batsman that stood against those hard-hitting swing deliveries during the early hours of the match. But more than any of these, it was his integrity and utter patience with which he stood by his team, that intrigued almost everybody. Few would have thought that a regular Glouchester guy, who played for Essex, would become such a legend for English cricket and a true ambassador of the gentleman’s game.

With 12,472 test runs, he became the fifth highest run scorer in test match cricket surpassing Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

Fans would probably never forget his 235* in the first and 147 in the second test against Australia in the 2011-12 Ashes that led England win the much-celebrated tournament.

Indians would never forget Cook’s remarkable 294 in the third test of 2011 India’s tour of England. The way he played in that match, it seemed that it was impossible for any Indian bowler to dismiss him. England won that series 5-0 and cook made sure he was the one player that would make all the difference!

When it came to captaincy, he was one of the most successful skippers in the history of English cricket — who led the side in record 135 test matches, winning 52 out of them. He made sure that the English side was never out of sight or too weak, when everything went against them. Cook was that one man who would never hesitate in taking harsh decisions and take a stand for his boys, whenever they needed him the most.

With all things said it was probably the most non-controversial yet challenging journey for Cook, but as he rightly summed up yesterday, it was a ”surreal” one for him.