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“Absolute masterclass” – Joe Root hails Ollie Pope for a stunning century
By SMCS - Jan 28, 2024 10:37 am
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England star Joe Root applauded teammate Ollie Pope for his stunning knock of 148* in the second innings of the first Test against India at Hyderabad. While playing his first international game since the second Test of the Ashes last year, the youngster looked comfortable and scored only a single run in the first innings. However, Pope also struggled in England’s previous tour of India in 2020/21, with a highest score of only 34 in eight innings as well.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope

Speaking to the broadcasters at stumps on Day 3, Root said, “The way he has played has been an absolute master class on how to score runs in this part of the world. When you are not used to playing here time and time again and only get the odd tour here and there, to be able to consistently make the right decision under pressure in big moments, big games was remarkable.”

Joe Root also felt Ollie Pope’s innings showed the England batters’ ability to play the situation. Notably, this was Pope’s fifth Test century in 36 outings and his second in subcontinent conditions as well. The youngster ensured the visitors added a 190-run first-innings deficit and finished Day 3 at 316/6 with a lead of 126 runs as well.

“One of the great things about Pope’s innings was recognizing certain passages of play. He maneuvered the field exceptionally well, especially the period when it was reversing, he managed that really well. That sort of gets overlooked from this team. Being able to absorb pressure and knowing when to put it back on the opposition and his innings was a great example of how to do that in these conditions,” further added Root.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope resurrected England in Hyderabad Test

Joe Root also applauded the opening pair of Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett for providing England an ideal start to their second innings as well. Although they didn’t score a half-century, they ensured England to do well in the initial overs. After a valuable partnership of 55 in the first innings, the duo added 45 more runs in under ten overs in England’s second essay to relieve the pressure on the other batters as well.

“Our opening stand to get us off to that start when it can be very tricky with a couple of quick wickets. They’ve been so good for us over the last couple of years getting us off to brilliant starts. And then a couple of partnerships that followed, had to get through a tricky phase when it was reversing that a couple of us couldn’t manage (smiles),” concluded Joe Root.