Former South Africa player AB de Villiers praised England’s Ollie Pope following his stunning 196-run knock in the recently concluded first Test against India in Hyderabad. Pope was also applauded by Team India head coach Rahul Dravid, who was impressed by his stunning reverse-sweeping.
Saying the same as Dravid, AB de Villiers said in his latest YouTube video: “The man of the moment, the legend himself, Ollie Pope. No one saw this coming. Unbelievable scenes when Rahul Dravid comes out and recognizes something special. It is very true what he says. I watched almost every single ball and it was just incredible how this guy worked the ball around on a very difficult track against the best spinners in the world. It doesn’t get any harder than that. He was just calm and composed.”
However, Ollie Pope’s knock helped England set an stunning 231-run target for India in the fourth innings of the Hyderabad Test as well. England ultimately secured a famous 28-run win to go 1-0 up in the five-match series as well.
Meanwhile, England’s debutant left-arm spinner Tom Hartley conceded a lot of runs in his first spell of the Test series opener. And, AB de Villiers said that it would be impossible for most bowlers to bounce back as well.
“The way he started, 0/51 from his first six overs of a Test match, I promise you maybe 999 out of a thousand bowlers would be gone; they would give up. There’s no coming back from that. Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma hitting Hartley all over the place. For any player just to half sort of come back into the contest is already incredible, but the way he came back, getting nine wickets in this Test match, is unbelievable. So, well done, Tom Hartley, showing a lot of character. A lot of heart from Heartly,” AB de Villiers concluded.
The second Test between India and England will take place on February 2 at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.