Ollie Pope scored a fighting century (AP Image)
Ollie Pope made an unbeaten 148 off 208 balls as England closed the day at 316 for six, to be ahead of India by 126 runs.
Premier England batter Joe Root hailed Ollie Pope for his fighting century against India on Day 3 of the first Test match in Hyderabad. Pope batted confidently on a tough batting surface as Root called it as one of the best knocks he has witnessed.
Riding on Pope’s unbeaten 48 off 208 balls, England managed to score 316 for six at stumps on Day 3 to be ahead of India by 126 runs.
“I’m speechless. It’s one of the best knocks that I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of cricket. Played and batted out there in the middle with a lot of brilliant players and to witness that today was really special,” said Root in his post-day press meet.
Also Read | KL Rahul – India’s All-purpose Shapeshifter
“I didn’t mind when he big-dogged me and said ‘can you do the press (conference)’ because to manipulate the field as he did against that attack, on that surface, to show the powers of concentration, determination, fitness and skill…immense,” Root added.
Root said it was a masterclass from Pope to bat in the Indian conditions where the spinners were getting assistance from the surface.
“Honestly, it’s an absolute masterclass on how to bat in these conditions. As an overseas player, someone who’s not exposed to these surfaces, and to come back off a serious injury like he had in summer and have that amount of time out of the game and then put together that… outstanding,” said Root.
Pope was ruled out of the Ashes series against Australia in June last year with a dislocated shoulder and the Hyderabad Test was the Chelsea man’s first match since then.
Root, former England skipper, asserted that Poep has grown into one of the leaders of the dressing room.
“He grasped the moment, took responsibility and then backed it up in his actions. That’s what you want from leaders within the dressing room. He’s certainly become one of those over the last year or so.
“It’s just great to see, as an old-timer in this team. It’s great to see these young lads coming in and really putting their stamp on things and making it their team.”
Root who has seen several cricketing summers, battles and scars said his efforts are no longer the benchmark after Pope’s effort on the day.
“I’m not any more. I think that’s the benchmark. Honestly, I might have scored a few runs in the subcontinent. But not on a surface like that against an attack like that.
Honestly, that was really special today and it gives a lot of confidence to the rest of the group as well,” he signed off.