It was an extraordinary opening day at The Oval, featuring a guard of honour, a classic Cook knock and familiar England collapse…
SCORECARD | HIGHLIGHTS | AS IT HAPPENED
Alastair Cook struck 71 on his Test finale but England suffered a first-innings collapse against India as the hosts closed day one of the fifth Test on 198-7, writes Kalika Mehta.
The 33-year-old opener, who came to the crease to a standing ovation from a packed crowd and a guard of honour from India, put the occasion to one side and looked almost back to his fluent best as he brought up a hard-fought fifty off 139 balls.
3:14 The pick of the action from the first day at the Oval
Moment of the Day
“We have seen too much of him sometimes,” said Virat Kohli of Alastair Cook at the toss, in good-humoured acknowledgement of the opener’s feats, but he was nevertheless good enough to instruct his players to line up for a guard of honour as Cook made his way out for his 161th Test. It was an honour befitting a record-breaking player who has been a tremendous ambassador for the game too.
0:46 India's players applaud Cook as they form a Guard of Honour
Stats of the Day
– Cook has left 5,256 deliveries alone in Test cricket, more than anyone else in the CricViz database.
– Bairstow has averaged 27.41 in 2018, the lowest for any calendar year since he returned to the Test side.
All eyes may have been on Cook but Keaton Jennings put himself back in the spotlight with a soft dismissal after grafting to 23. But has he done enough to book a flight to Sri Lanka in the winter? Mike Atherton thinks yes, not least because England won’t want to tour with two rookie openers. The question might have gone away today but for the manner of his dismissal. “It was incredible that he just knocked that to leg slip,” reflected Bumble. “It was a bit of slip catching.” No wonder Jennings left after an angry punch of his bat.
0:17 Keaton Jennings couldn't hide his frustration after being caught at leg slip
What they said
NASSER HUSSAIN: “England can’t quite put the two bits of their innings together. We have seen England 40-3, 40-4 for a few years now and the middle order has to pull them out of trouble and on the one occasion the top order does fire, the middle order is blown away. It’s yet another collapse for England but I think this one is understandable – it was down to some brilliant bowling. Shami has the best nought-for I have ever seen!”
ALASTAIR COOK: “Because of the emotion, I didn’t not want to get score. I was so determined – there is nothing worse than going out without contributing. I am pleased to get a score and disappointed to get out when I did. The guard of honour from India was great but I was focused on my batting.”
6:33 Alastair Cook joined Ian Ward at the Sky Cart at the end of day one
Tweets of the Day
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