London – Joe Root expects "a century to be written in the stars" for Alastair Cook as England try to send his record keeper in a stop by beating India in the fifth round in the Oval.
Friday's game will be Cook's last before his international retirement, although the 33-year-old left-handed starter will continue playing for Essex.
Cook announced his career in England on Monday, after a 60-race victory over India in the fourth Test at Southampton that gave England an unbeaten 3-1 lead in the five-game series.
He could have scored 12 254 The test runs and appeared in a world record of 158 consecutive matches at this level, but former England captain Cook is averaging a meager 18.62 of nine tests this year.
But Root, his successor as England's boss, believes the 33-year-old Cook could finish his career as he started it, with a century.
Essex opened Coo k scored 104 not in his Test debut, against India in Nagpur in 2006, the first of his England record 32 hundred.
READ: Biff pays tribute to his old rival Cook
"Now it's about us as a team that gives him the opportunity to get out in the best possible way," Root told reporters at The Oval on Thursday.
"That means going out and making sure we win this game, it's an extra incentive for us as a group and it would be an appropriate way to finish what would be a fabulous race."
Cook has not reached all three figures in the test cricket since a 244 marathon against Australia in Melbourne in December.
But Root insisted: "I've seen one coming for a time (a century) although you may not think twice with the scores you've had in the last couple of weeks.
" It would be good to start and end with a century. You never know what could be written in the stars, "added the high-ranking Yorkshire hitter.
Root said Cook's decision had surprised him, but there was no point in trying to change his mind.
" I was a little surprised. But he was adamant in his decision. You could see on his face that that was what he wanted and obviously he had thought about it and was ready for that.
"When you have the impression of someone it does not make sense to try to convince him"
LEE: India anxious to spoil Cook & # 39; s England's farewell
Reflecting on the Cook's general contribution to England, Root said: "It has been an outstanding race, 12 years at the top of the order, to have an album like that is a feat, especially under these conditions (in English) for the majority. around the world that can match that, it does not matter English players, so it's going to be very difficult to replace him. "
When asked what Cook meant for his Root career, he replied:" It has been a great influence for me. It gave me the opportunity to play, as a model, there are not many people who do things better than he has his feet on the ground.
"Jos (Buttler) summed it up. He is the most sensible superstar you will ever see. He always has time for everyone. It is a great quality for any lifestyle, no matter a high pressure environment like international cricket.
"I'll miss him being close, not only because of his careers and what he adds to the team, but also as a person."