The departure of Alastair Cook from the Test cricket arena deserved many things.
A riveting match, a fitting venue, and a big score for the man affectionately known to his teammates as “Chef”. It got all three.
England won by 118 runs, with Jimmy Anderson taking the final wicket to clinch a 4-1 series result and move him ahead of Glenn McGrath in the all-time wickets standings.
It was a story-book series and a story-book summer. We’ll cherish it for years to come.
See how we rated every player from the final Test of this memorable England v India series:
Alastair Cook - 10
Simply marvellous. A 71 in the first innings, then a second innings that made us all feel young again. Finally caught behind on 147, Alastair Cook walked off at the Oval to astonishing applause, basking in it every step of the way. Farewell, Chef.
Keaton Jennings - 3
A disappointing 33 runs in the match, Jennings may yet be on the plane to Sri Lanka for the next tour, given Chief Selector Ed Smith’s desire to not have two new openers playing in Asia. It would be difficult to see how else Jennings merits his place in that squad.
Moeen Ali - 7
I’m going to say this incredibly tentatively – but I think England have found their number three. Moeen got to 50 in the first innings before being dismissed, and despite a slightly disappointing 20 in the second innings, the all-rounder should be a shoe-in for Sri Lanka.
Joe Root - 9
Very much needed his score in the second innings. Cook will get the headlines, but Root did a stellar job down at the other end. His 125 will be very welcome, and his strong captaincy from this tour as a whole shouldn’t be glossed over. Was on a pair going into his second innings, and went a long way to shutting his critics up. Four is the place for our Joe.
Jonny Bairstow - 3
I’m still not entirely sure Bairstow is fit. A duck in the first inning, and 18 in the second before being bowled by Shami. Took the gloves back from Buttler, and made no glaring error behind the wicket.
Ben Stokes - 7
I really enjoyed Ben Stokes’ performance in this match. He was effective with the ball, and continued to show this will to bat as the situation dictates. Despite being dismissed for 11, Stokes saw a valuable 40 balls in the middle of an England collapse in the first innings, before loosening up and hitting a 36 ball 37 in the second innings.
Jos Buttler - 8
England wouldn’t have had the chance to win this match without Jos Buttler. How many times have we said that this summer? Buttler’s 89 in the first innings was entirely necessary to boost the hosts’ score, and put them in control of the game.
Sam Curran - 5
Not his finest game in an England shirt, but his heroics earlier in the season will more than cement his spot in the team for Sri Lanka.
Adil Rashid - 8
Did very little all series, then bowled one of the best balls I’ve ever seen to dismiss KL Rahul. What a glorious way to stick it to the “he needs to be playing red ball cricket” crowd.
Stuart Broad - 8
Incredibly uncharacteristic and valuable innings to support Jos Buttler at the start of the match. Gets a big round of applause from me for that.
James Anderson - 8
The Burnley Express. What a bowler, what a man. Tore through the Indian top order in both innings, and broke Glenn McGrath’s record for Test wickets. We’ll miss him so much when he’s gone.
KL Rahul - 9
He needed runs, and boy did he get them. One of the most enjoyable innings of the tour, Rahul’s supreme 149 in the second innings was a pleasure to watch. He can come back.
Shikhar Dhawan - 1
Not Dhawan’s finest hour. Failed to score higher than three in either innings, trapped LBW both times.
Cheteshwar Pujara - 5
A battling 37 in the first innings will do little to make up for his second innings duck. Although, he wasn’t alone in wearing that hat…
Virat Kohli - 5
Edged behind on 49 in the first innings, and did the same in the second innings whilst on nought. Don’t let this performance take away from the clinic of batting this magnificent player gave us this summer. Thank you, Virat.
Ajinkya Rahane - 5
Interestingly, had the exact inverse performance of Pujara. 0 in the first innings, and 37 in the second.
Hanuma Vihari - 6
56 for the fringe player would have been welcomed in the grand scheme of his India career. His first Test wicket was to end the career of Alastair Cook. With every ending, and so on…
Rishabh Pant - 8
A hugely frustrating 114 in the second innings, and one of the most entertaining wicketkeepers in the business.
Ravindra Jadeja - 8
Another really enjoyable watch. His 86* in the first innings could have affected the match much more had he not run out of partners, and India may call his number again in the future. Four wickets in the first innings and three in the second showed Jadeja’s versatility too.
Ishant Sharma - 7
All summer long, Sharma has done a great job of adapting his style to English conditions. His three wickets in the first innings were reflective of that, and English counties might do well to get in touch with the colossal seam bowler.
Mohammed Shami - 7
Perhaps the unluckiest man in London. Shami bowled some lovely stuff across the match, and will walk away with just the two wickets to show for it. He’ll bowl worse and take far more in his career…
Jasprit Bumrah - 7
I’ll remember your hilarious action, and mind-boggling swing, Jasprit. A fantastic performance across the summer, and made it very hard for the English batsmen time and time again.