Former South African cricketer AB de Villiers praised English batsman Ollie Pope for his heroics in the Hyderabad Test. He said that his knocks speak for themselves when some like Rahul Dravid come and praise his performance.
Ollie Pope played one of his best knocks in India with a foreign batsman. It was one of the main reasons why England won the first match by 28 runs. The batsman played spin even better than the Indian batsmen, which says a lot about his innings.
When it looked like England would lose the match, Ollie Pope took a big step forward for his team. He first reduced the deficit and then ensured that the hosts set a big target for India to chase, but they failed to do so and lost the game to trail 1-0 in the series.
Ollie Pope finished with 196 runs and led England to a big total. The highlight of his innings was the way he played spin. The batsman performed sweeps and reverse sweeps magnificently and made the spinners look clueless.
After the match, India head coach Rahul Dravid also praised Ollie Pope and praised him for the kind of innings he played. Apart from him, even captain Rohit Sharma greeted the batsman and said that it was the best innings he had ever seen for a foreign player in India.
AB de Villiers echoed Rahul Dravid’s voice and said that no one expected Ollie Pope to play that kind of innings. The former South African captain praised the calm and composure of the batsmen. In a video posted on his YouTube channel, he explained:
“The man of the moment, the legend himself, Ollie Pope. Nobody saw this coming. Incredible scenes when Rahul Dravid comes out and recognizes something special. What he says is very true.
“I watched almost every ball and it was just incredible how this guy handled the ball on a very difficult track against the best spinners in the world. There is nothing more difficult than that. He was just calm and collected.”
999 out of every thousand players would have left: AB de Villiers on Tom Hartley’s debut
Tom Hartley was also among the key architects behind England’s victory in the first Test. He had a horrible outing in the first innings and then picked 7 wickets in the second innings to win the game for his team.
AB de Villiers said that with the way Tom Hartley started, 999 out of every thousand players would have left. He greeted the character shown by the roulette wheel and explained:
“The way he started, 0/51 in his first six overs of a Test match, I promise you maybe 999 out of a thousand players would have walked out; they would give up. There is no going back from that. Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma hit Hartley from all sides.
“For any player to come back in the middle of the contest is already incredible, but the way he came back, taking nine wickets in this Test match, is incredible. Well done, Tom Hartley, showing lots of character. A lot of heart from Heartly.”
The second Test between India and England will be played on February 2 at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.