LONDON, Sept 10: England batsman Alastair Cook marked his 291st and final test innings in fitting fashion as he reached a century against India on the fourth morning of the fifth test on Monday.
The 33-year-old opener, England's record run scorer in tests, began the day on 46 and moved fluently to 101 not out before lunch as England built a large lead with captain Joe Root also making an unbeaten fifty. It was left-hander Cook's 33rd test century.
Cook started his Test career in 2006 and Cook coincidently scored a hundred (104) on his Test debut against the same opponent, India, in Nagpur in 2006. With a century in the farewell Test also, Cook has reached a rare feat of scoring a ton in his first and the last Test. He is the first Englishman to achieve the outstanding accomplishment. Apart from Cook, two other batsmen also found centuries in the first and the last test against the same opposition. Cook became the fifth batsman ever to score a century both in his debut and his final Test.
This was the 33rd Test ton for Cook, who is England's leading run-getter with 12,472 runs in 161 matches in the longest format of the game. The last batsman to score a ton in his first and last Test was former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Azhar started his career with a 110 against England in Kolkata in 1984 and ended with a 102 against South Africa in Bengalore in 2000. Three Australians had achieved the feat before Azharuddin-Greg Chappel, William Ponsford and Reginald Duff. (UNI-Reuters)