Ollie Pope was named Player of the Match (AP Image)
Ollie Pope pointed out that it was a special and his best knock as it was one of the toughest places to bat and he helped his team register a crucial win.
England batter Ollie Pope called his 196-run knock against India in Hyderabad heads and shoulders above his other four Test centuries. Pope played a career-defining knock in the second innings to help England bounce back into the game and register a crucial 28-run win in the series opener to take a 1-0 lead.
Pope fought a battle against the Indian spin attack when the other batters struggled to get going as he stitched crucial partnerships with Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley which helped England take a 230-run lead.
Pope was helped in his endeavour by an enterprising Tom Hartley (35) as the pair stitched 80 runs off 106 balls. They executed the pre-set strategy of playing sweeps and reverse sweeps to perfection to keep the Indians a befuddled lot.
Pope pointed out that it was a special and his best knock as it was one of the toughest places to bat and he helped his team register a crucial win.
“To come here to India, probably the toughest place for a batter, to start the series like this, to do it in a winning cause, it’s heads and shoulders above the other four (hundreds),” Pope said after named Player of the Match.
The 26-year-old also admitted that he was a bit lucky in the second innings as he got beaten on a few occasions but held his ground strong to score a fine century.
“I got a bit luckier in the second innings. I played and missed a few. First up, I was at peace with getting out caught at slip like I did in the first. I was focused on covering the inside edge. I knew that was the real danger ball. I maintained that mindset and really wanted to be positive with my sweep and reverse sweep,” he added.
The England vice-captain further said that he has some changes to his technique for the Indian conditions.
“I have changed my technique slightly for this series specifically. I had a shoulder surgery, so I had a long time to prepare for this series. Made some adjustments, worked hard on my game,” he added.
“The family have had early starts throughout the week, they can finally get some sleep, will be nice catching up with them,” he concluded.