The applause and reception is driving Cook to bat as long as he can: Paul Farbrace

The applause and reception is driving Cook to bat as long as he can: Paul Farbrace

Cook was batting unbeaten on 46 in the second innings at the end of day 3.

Alastair Cook of England
Alastair Cook of England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Alastair Cook playing his last Test match has some sort of freedom in his approach. He’s not looked a completely different batsman and has had his share of plays and misses but luck has gone his way and he hasn’t edged. But he has scored freely, what reflects that really well is the scorecard. In the first innings, he became the first opener from both teams to score a fifty in the series and is unbeaten on 46 in the second.

England batting coach Paul Farbrace who has enjoyed watching Cook bat not just in this match but for the most part of his career said that the retiring cricketer is enjoying the support from the crowd and the overall environment. Farbrace thinks that is pushing him to go on for as long as he can and make his last match a memorable one.

The reception is driving him

“He has played really well and has shown everything that he is about,” said Farbrace after the end of the third day’s play at The Oval. “I think he is enjoying milking all the applause he is getting. It’s driving him to bat as long as he possibly can,” he added.

Cook produced his best effort in the series and only his second fifty in the year when he scored 71 in the first innings of this match. He has looked calm but getting such a heart-warming reception from the crowd as well as the opposition would’ve certainly moved him.

“He’s been pretty calm, but I would imagine that reception when he went out to bat moved him,” said Farbrace. “It certainly moved everyone else in the dressing room.”

Cook’s influence

The 33-year-old decided to call it time on his career after a 161-Test journey that he began against the same opposition in 2006. Among the several records he has, Cook has featured in most matches and is the highest run-getter for England but Farbrace said that’s not all, it is the effect he had on others in the team that will be missed as well.

“As much as we will miss his runs and catches, we’ll also miss the calming influence that he has amongst everybody,” he added.

“He manages to make everyone feel very welcome. He has the respect of everybody and everyone is comfortable talking to him. He’s very down to earth,” the 51-year-old concluded.

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