Virat Kohli, on Friday, hailed Alastair Cook ahead of his final international game. Speaking at toss ahead of the fifth England vs India Test, the India skipper called Cook one of the greatest Test openers of all time.

With the series already decided in favour of England, the focus is very much on Cook who will end his glittering career after this game.  Cook departs as one of England’s most decorated players. He has played more Tests, scored more runs and more centuries than any England cricketer in history.

Credits: Getty

On his debut way back in 2006 in Nagpur, a 21-year old Cook scored 60 and 104 not out to mark his arrival. And he did not look back since then. He has so far amassed 12,254 runs in 160 Tests. Cook played a crucial role in making England one of the best Test teams in the world between 2009 and 2013.

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.

 

Virat Kohli lavished praise on Alastair Cook (England vs India, Credits: AP)

He bagged the Man of the Match award after scoring a mammoth 766 runs to become England’s second highest series scorer behind 906 by Wally Hammond. In five games, he scored one double century, two centuries and as many fifties.

And with the whole cricketing world paying tribute to Cook, India skipper Virat Kohli also joined the bandwagon. Speaking at the toss, Kohli praised the England star and called him a great player.

“We have seen too much of Cook at times. Cook has been a great great player. To get 12,000 runs as an opener in these conditions and all over the world is outstanding. He will go down as one of the greatest openers in Test cricket,” Kohli said during the toss.

Cook took the decision to hang his boots due to his prolonged poor form which has perhaps reached its zenith in the ongoing series. He will be keen to bow out on a high.

Alastair Cook (England vs India, Credits: Getty)

The southpaw also led England in a English record 59 Tests and won 24 of them. Highlights of Cook’s reign as England captain include two home Ashes victories, as well as series wins in India and South Africa.