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“One of the great knocks by an Englishman in India” – Pragyan Ojha on Ollie Pope
By SMCS - Jan 28, 2024 9:00 am
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Former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha has applauded Ollie Pope’s century during England’s second innings on Day 3 (Saturday, January 27) of the ongoing first Test in Hyderabad as well. The veteran termed Pope’s hundred as one of the best by an England player in India. He praised the batter for his grit and determination as the visitors extended their lead to 126 and counting. He gave the example of Kevin Pietersen’s century in Mumbai as well.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope resurrected England in the Hyderabad Test

Ojha’s said as Pope stayed unbeaten on 148 off 208 balls, in an innings comprised of 17 boundaries. He told Cricbuzz: “One of the great knocks by an Englishman in India. I had witnessed it in 2012 when Kevin Pietersen had smashed a century in Mumbai. He had played a big innings and took the match away from India’s grip. Today, they are placed in a similar scenario [like 2012].”

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“If Ollie Pope plays a session tomorrow, the way he is playing comfortably. Rehan Ahmed is also playing in a way that he’s not trying to find himself. So, anything can happen. I want to say one thing about Ollie Pope. Always, when something new happens, then every time one wrong-headed person shows their willpower and then re-write history), he’s batted that way. It was not easy. He showed his discipline and grit. Playing at 148 not out, it’s a big thing. The way he single-handedly ran the game, a 126-run lead is too big. If they go a little ahead, then the Indian unit will have to think about it.”

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope

Notably, Kevin Pietersen had played a similar knock during England’s tour of India in 2012-13, when they last won the Test series in India (2-1) as well. However, Pietersen had scored 186 runs off 233 deliveries, including four sixes and 20 boundaries, during the first innings of the second Test at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai which England won by 10 wickets as well.

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And, Pragyan Ojha further lauded the century partnership between Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes on the challenging pitch where he credited the duo for England’s fightback total in the Test match as they rescued England from 163/5 as well.

“England were looking for a fightback and now they’ve got that. The way Ben Foakes batted with Pope was tremendous. That 112-run partnership, on a normal wicket, would’ve been 200-250. Above all, discipline and control of the mind.”The way the ball was turning and Jasprit Bumrah was in his spell, it was not easy, but the duo showed pride and proved why the England team always evolves in front of any challenge,” Pragyan Ojha concluded.