England Vice-captain Ollie Pope smashed a brilliant century in the second innings of the opening Test of the five-match series against India. Ollie Pope’s remarkable innings earned praise from the cricket community, including former England captain Michael Vaughan.
The Ben Stokes-led team struggled to make an impact in the first innings at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. The visiting team scored 246 runs after opting to bat first. Ollie Pope managed to score only one run on the opening day of the game.
In response, the Rohit Sharma-led team scored 436 runs on the board. Yashasvi Jasiwal (80), KL Rahul (86) and Ravindra Jadeja (87) made valuable contributions to the team’s 190-run lead in the first innings. Joe Root was England’s most outstanding bowler, taking four wickets.
England began their second innings under pressure, losing by 190 runs. Openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett made a positive start by adding 45 runs in 9.2 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin took the first wicket by dismissing Crawley, who scored 31 runs off 33 balls.
Ollie Pope, who had a disappointing first innings performance, added crucial partnerships to guide England over the deficit. The young batsman reached his first Test century in India off 154 balls. He ran three runs off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja to achieve the milestone.
The 26-year-old batsman added a 112-run partnership with batsman Ben Foakes to rescue the team from 163/5. The number 3 batsman survived when Axar Patel dropped his catch while hitting 110 runs. He finished with 148 unbeaten runs, including 17 boundaries.
One of Ollie Pope’s Big 100 Tests – Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan praised Ollie PapaThe notable Test Century on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). Vaughan described it as “one of the most important Test hundreds”, highlighting its significant impact during the ongoing Test match. Vaughan also criticized Wasim Jaffer after Pope’s talk.
“One of @OPope32’s big 100 tests…!! Another 100 races and you never know… #INDvENG… Late @WasimJaffer14”, Vaughan wrote.
—Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 27, 2024
England have extended their lead to 126 runs, reaching 316/6 on the third day. Ollie Pope and Rehan Ahmed (16) remained unbeaten in the box. The duo added a crucial 41-run partnership off just 62 balls for the seventh wicket in their second innings.
There will be a lot of noise outside – Ollie Pope
Before the start of the series, Ollie Pope expressed the team’s readiness for the spinning tracks in India. He stated that pitching can be a topic of conversation, but added that both teams play on the same field, emphasizing the importance of being well prepared for such conditions.
“There will be a lot of outside noise. And presentations can be a great conversation starter. But we must remember that the two teams play on exactly the same field, so we must be as well equipped as possible.” said the Pope.
“In England, we could leave more grass on the pitch to satisfy our incredible seamers, so it is no surprise that India do the same to satisfy their spinners. And actually I think it’s surprising to see low-scoring Test matches.” he added.
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