Ollie Pope becomes the first centurion of the ongoing five-match Test series between India and England as he completed his century off 154 balls in the third session of Day 3 of the first Test. The test match is being played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad and England is currently leading by over 100 runs. The Three Lions were struggling after losing five wickets for under 170 runs, but Ollie Pope stepped up and showed his batting prowess.
Ollie Pope smashed his fifth century in Test cricket and remained unbeaten on 148 at the end of the third day’s play against India on a spin-friendly track. Ravindra Jadeja dismissed him for just 1 in the first innings but he came back and has given a headache to the Indian bowlers as he is fully prepared and playing very sensible cricket. Ollie Pope launched the Bazball approach and is playing his innings defensively and the plan has worked so far for the England vice-captain.
Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha praised Ollie Pope’s strokeplay in the innings and termed it a brave innings as the England No.3 gave them a chance to fight back in a match that looked like a one-sided affair. England lead by 126 runs in the match as they finished at 316/6 at the end of the third day of play.
“I would call it a brave entrance. Look, you can’t change your skills in a day, you can only change your way of thinking and he did it by showing bravery brilliantly. He backed up the shots he was taking. We were talking about Ben Stokes, he went into a shell but he (Ollie Pope) didn’t go into that shell even then. He kept playing his reverse sweeps, sweeps, going out, playing on the merit of the ball and didn’t get caught up in the situation, that’s why you will see that he is the only batsman who flourished,” Pragyan Ojha said about Ollie. Dad
Watch: Pragyan Ojha talks about Ollie Pope’s innings
#OlliePope’s first Test hundred against #India 💯👏
How well has #Pope adapted to Indian conditions? @pragyanojha praises his strokeplay, in #CricbuzzChatter #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/CFYYhoy0ex
– Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) January 27, 2024
Ollie Pope remained unbeaten at 148 after the third day of play. He smashed 17 fours in his innings and played at a strike rate of 71.15. Pope gave England a chance to come back in the match and they can be eager to take a 200 or 250 lead on the fourth day. He is leading the batting on his own and has performed extremely well in the match after being dismissed for just 1 in the first innings.
England was the last team to win a Test series against India on Indian soil, in 2012, when Sir Alastair Cook led England to a 2-1 victory against the hosts. They will resume with 326/6 on the board on Day 4 and India will hope to take those four wickets quickly to chase an achievable target in the fourth innings. Currently, Ollie Pope and Rehan Ahmed are in the England squad.