Ollie Pope’s innings of 196 off 278 balls in the second innings of the Hyderabad Test is now the fourth highest score by an overseas batsman in Indian conditions. England won the first Test by 28 runs and Pope won the Player of the Match.
Andy Flower’s unbeaten 232 remains the highest score by an overseas batsman in Indian conditions. This was followed by Brendon McCullum’s 225 at the same venue in 2010. Gary Sobers scored 198 in 1958 and now Pope, with his 196, stands as the fourth highest singles run-getter in Test cricket in India .
Ollie Pope scored 1 off 11 balls in the first innings. He made the necessary adjustments in his game in the second innings and played with authority against the Indian spinners.
Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha, in an interaction with Cricbuzz, decoded the changes Pope brought about in his innings while scoring those runs. He hit 21 fours in his innings and the fact that he scored those runs in the second innings made it even more special.
“Absolutely brilliant innings from Ollie Pope. Especially since he played with heavy hands in the first innings which led to his dismissal. However, in the second innings he played spin and spin using his hands more,” Ojha said.
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He further praised Pope for playing with a positive mindset in the second innings. Unlike the first innings, Pope was much more aggressive and played with attacking intent in the second innings by playing shots like the sweep and reverse sweep.
“If you look closely at Pope’s innings, he was playing the turn and in the process, he allowed himself to get easy singles and even if the ball took the lead, it wouldn’t reach the slips,” Ojha added.
Pragyan Ojha on Ollie Pope’s innings in Hyderabad
The former Indian spinner further said that Pope showed great mentality while batting in the second innings and the bravery he showed with the bat. He also spoke about how the 26-year-old developed a batting template in Indian conditions.
“Absolutely brilliant innings from Ollie Pope in Indian conditions. He mastered the art of playing the reverse sweep, something that former England coach Andy Flower mastered during his time as an international cricketer. He showed how it was done back then and Pope gave it another look. Pope altered the line and length of the Indian bowlers to his credit,” the former Indian spinner noted.
He concluded by saying that Pope has forced the Indian bowlers to play on a different line and length somewhere along the line, forcing them to change their bowling thought process towards him.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja are ruled out of the second Test due to injury issues. While Jadeja injured his hamstring, Rahul was complaining of a quadriceps injury. India lost the first Test by 28 runs and fell to fifth position in the WTC points table. The second Test begins on February 2 in Vizag.
Sarfaraz along with Washington Sundar and Saurabh Kumar were added to the Indian team after KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were ruled out due to injury problems. Sarfaraz replaced Rahul, while Sundar was named a possible replacement for Ravindra Jadeja.
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