London, September 11: Alastair Cook said "dreams do come true" after signing off his international career with a sensational century in the fifth Test between England and India at the Oval on Monday (September 10).
Opener Cook brought up his ton when Jasprit Bumrah launched the ball to the boundary for four overthrows, prompting lengthy applause from the fans and scenes of jubilation among his team-mates in the pavilion.
The 33-year-old eventually fell on 147 when he edged debutant Hanuma Vihari to Rishabh Pant, and he reflected on an emotional final innings with the bat for his country.
"Ever since I suppose it's been announced you hope you have a good week but just to top it off with a score here was just incredible," Cook told Sky Sports.
"Sometimes dreams do come true. On a purely selfish thing and even just fielding at short leg, with the crowd singing my Barmy Army song…it's very special.
"It was emotional. There was definitely a lump in my throat with that ovation. It makes it special, I've got about 30 friends here today and family as well. You couldn't have scripted it. Today is one of those days you'll forever look back and think, 'Wow.'
"With 30 friends coming down I was like, 'Don't get out for nought.' It's been one of those don't-get-out-for-nought games for me. The ovation I got walking out this time as well I was like, 'You've got to score a couple or it's embarrassing'.
"I didn't really think about the hundred until I got into the eighties and then I thought, 'I've got a bit of a chance here.' Bit of a scraggly moment 89, 90 and then a good way to go from 97 to 102."
Cook, who also began his Test career with a hundred against India in 2006, hopes England can get the seven wickets needed for victory on Tuesday and complete a 4-1 series win to cap his farewell.
He told a news conference: "On a purely selfish point of view I couldn't have asked for a better week for me, but there's been bigger things in more important games that meant more.
"To perform and have a day like that...I suppose over 160 other games it's a nice way to go.
"I don't know how I've managed it but it's nice it has happened. To go out on your own terms with your last ever innings for England as a hundred, and if we can top it off with a win and a 4-1 win over the number one side in the world, would make it even more special."