England batsman Ollie Pope has shown that Virat Kohli alerts him of turning pitches in the series, midway through the first India-England Test in Chennai.
This Test was the one and only in the four-match series where England batsmen looked convenient at the crease. On a track that offered minor assistance to bowlers on the first 2-days, the visitors notched a mammoth 578, thanks to Joe Root’s double ton. The visitors won the Test by 227 runs to take an amazing lead in the series.
During a media communication on Friday, Ollie Pope recounted feeling nervous about the next 3 games after the Indian captain’s ‘last flat wicket’ of the series warning.
“In the second innings, the pitch started spinning quite a lot. I remember standing at the non-striker’s end and Kohli came up to me and said ‘this is the last of the flat wickets’. At that point, I knew it was probably going to be quite a challenging rest of the series from a batting point of view,” Ollie Pope said.
Virat Kohli‘s word proved prophetic, as the next 2 Tests were played on raging rank rounders, and English batsmen missed to score even 170 across four innings. The pitch for the final Test didn’t generate a sharp turn, but the English batsmen lost wickets against straight deliveries while playing for turn.
— Ollie Pope (@OPope32) February 9, 2021
Even Joe Root and Ben Stokes found the environment ‘toughest’ they have ever faced: Ollie Pope said
Ollie Pope, who struggle a lot against the likes of R Ashwin and Axar Patel entire the tour, said even the team’s senior-most players found the situation some of the ‘toughest’ they have ever faced.
“Chatting to the more experienced guys like Joe Root and Ben Stokes, those guys were pretty much saying exactly the same: these are the toughest conditions they’ve played in. If those guys are saying it as well, you know how challenging it is,” said Ollie Pope.
The 23-year-old added that it was actually a ‘praise’ for his squad that the hosts had to change their gameplan for the final 3 Tests.
“I’m not saying (India) felt they had to produce those wickets, but the fact they’ve gone away from their flat wickets for three days, then spin on day four and five, which is generally the theme out there, it was quite a compliment to us in how we went about our business and a compliment to our bowlers. That shot us in the foot a little bit, but it’s a good compliment to us as a team because they obviously felt they had to change their gameplan,” concluded Ollie Pope.
☝ Stoneman is caught for 36.
England men Ollie Pope & Ben Foakes together at the crease for Surrey!
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) April 2, 2021
Ollie Pope was the 3rd-highest scorer for England in the Test series, scoring 153 runs at an average of just over 19. He is right now playing his trade for Surrey in the 2021 English County Championship.
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