Former England skipper Andrew Strauss, on Friday, hailed his former opening partner Alastair Cook as England’s “greatest player ever” ahead of the latter’s final international game. Cook will end his glittering career after the ongoing fifth England vs India Test at The Oval.

After the fourth Test, Cook had announced he would retire at the end of the ongoing game. His retirement would end one of the most beautiful chapters in the history of England cricket. Cook is retiring as England’s most prolific and decorated Test batsman.

Prior to the ongoing Test, Cook amassed 12,254 runs in 160 Tests.  Cook will depart as England’s all-time leading run-scorer and as having made the most appearances of any player for the country. He also holds the record of most Test centuries by a England player.

Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook (Credits: Getty)

One of Cook’s finest performances came during the 2010-11 Ashes series in Australia. He batted over 36 hours in the five-match series which is a world record in a five Test series and an English record even including six Test series. He finished the series with a staggering 766 runs as England won their first Ashes and only so far in Australia this century. Cook is sixth in the list of all-time leading run-scorers in Tests.

And ahead of his final game, Andrew Strauss gave him a fitting tribute. The former England skipper, now the England and Wales Cricket Board director, gave a fitting farewell to Cook. Strauss addressed the England team before handing Cook a cap numbered 161 to mark the final international match of a 12-year international career.

He later called Cook “England’s greatest player ever” saying,

“That average, that consistency, the number of times he’s passed fifty and obviously the hundreds and the match-winning hundreds he’s got, all combine to make him England’s greatest player ever in my opinion.”

Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook (Credits: Getty)

“We have seen too much of him sometimes. “He has been a great player for England. What he has done as an opener has been outstanding and he will go down as one of the greatest openers to have played the game,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cook scored 71 on day one before being dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah. England, on the other hand, finished the day on 198 for 7.