England v India: England greats Alastair Cook and James Anderson cap memorable series
Last Updated: 12/09/18 5:48pm
A thrilling summer of cricket between England and India came to a close at The Oval as Alastair Cook and James Anderson confirmed their statuses as two of England's greatest players with the hosts wrapping up a 4-1 series victory.
Although the scoreline may not reflect the brilliance of a fiercely competitive five-match series, a better story could not have been written for Cook's final international match as he ended a glittering career with a century and was on the field when Anderson became the most prolific seamer in Test cricket.
There was plenty of entertainment away from pitch too and we look back on the jaw-dropping and amusing moments from the final match for England of a brilliant four months.
England greats shine
The DVD for this Test will undoubtedly be one every cricket lover in the land will want. Having announced his retirement from international cricket, Cook looked bound for a fairy-tale century in England's first innings only to be bowled for 71. When the former England captain came to the crease in the second innings, to his third standing ovation of the match, the sense of destiny was palpable and despite it being overthrows that took Cook to a 33rd Test hundred, it was nothing less than England's all-time leading runscorer deserved.
And, in a game where it seemed as though much was being ordained by a brilliant scriptwriter, Anderson was made to wait for an entire agonising day as he sought to overtake Glenn McGrath's 563 Test wickets. The England seamer had drawn level with the Australian on day four when he took two wickets in an over to reduce India to 1-2. With a fresh ball and a brand new day, it seemed as though the away side's fragile batting line-up would be no contest for a confident Anderson.
After bowling only four overs at the start of the day, Anderson was recalled with the ball more than 60 overs old and India's set batsmen KL Rahul and Risabh Pant looking in no danger at all. But, as he has done so often, the England fast bowler crowned an almost perfect series by bowling Mohammad Shami with the final ball to write his name into the record books, all while his best friend Cook was watching on.
Kohli reigns supreme in England
All the talk before series centered around whether or not Virat Kohli would be able to overcome his batting woes from 2014 and make his mark under testing English conditions. The ball undoubtedly dominated throughout the Tests but Kohli showed why he is the No 1 ranked Test batsman in the world, scoring 200 more runs than any other batsman - hitting two centuries along the way.
Ahead of the game at The Oval, the Indian captain sat down with Sky Sports commentator Michael Holding to talk about how he wants to inspire people not just with how he plays but also with how he conducts himself on and off the field. Kohli was also full of praise for his seam bowlers, who have impressed throughout the series.
Bumble explains his love of Trainspotting
Bumble's exploits saw him take Rob Key along with him as has revealed another one of his hobbies - trainspotting at Victoria station. The pair headed to the platform to see what they could find as Bumble explained the intricacies of trainspotting, learnt from his time as a member of a trainspotting club in his youth, to Rob. The imminent arrival of an old steam train got Bumble excited but there was a slight disappointment when it did pull in to the station with Bumble exclaiming: "It's a diesel!"
There was also an entertaining moment in the commentary box as Bumble showed off his Bhangra skills to Harbhajan Singh - which went viral on social media! It seemed to be a mixture of dad dancing and arm waving but Bumble showed he definitely has some surprising talents left in him!
Sky Ocean Rescue at The Oval
The Kia Oval has saved more than six tonnes of plastic waste since joining forces with Sky's Ocean Rescue campaign a year ago. The venue launched a three-year partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue ahead of England's third Test against South Africa last summer, after learning the equivalent of four rubbish trucks' worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean during just one over.
The ground is now on course to become plastic free by 2020 after ensuring 690,000 pieces of single-use plastic - equating to more than six tonnes - have dodged landfill already this year. This year Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd, Ian Ward, Michael Atherton, Michael Holding, Rob Key and Harbhajan Singh handed out 25,000 reusable bottles to the spectators that visited The Oval across all five days of the Test match.
Mind Games special - Alastair Cook
In a special extra episode of Mind Games following Alastair Cook's international retirement, he candidly reveals the moment he thought he was "gone" as an England player - before he scored a potentially career-saving ton against Pakistan at The Oval in 2010 - and how he never stopped questioning himself despite all he achieved in the Test arena.
The opener tells Charles Colville how being a choir boy when he was young instilled a discipline and ability to perform under pressure that he took into cricket and how he rarely felt overawed in Test matches. Cook also details the benefits he felt working with a sports psychologist; writing things down ahead of a crucial game; tweaking his technique; and retaining a high level of physical fitness.
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