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'England might toil a bit longer for wickets on Day 3'

September 04, 2021 09:37 IST

'I've recognised the Indian attack is very skillful and they attack the knee roll. As a batter, you have to adapt.'

Ollie Pope

IMAGE: Ollie Pope scored a resolute 81 during Day 2 to enable England take a sizeable first innings lead in the fourth Test against India, at The Oval, on Friday. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Middle-order batsman Ollie Pope, who top-scored for England in his comeback Test, reckons that they may have to slog to get wickets on a pitch that has much less assistance compared to first day in the fourth Test, when they dismissed India for a paltry 191.


Returning to the playing eleven after being benched for the first three Tests, Pope scored a gritty 81 at his Surrey home ground and stitched two crucial fifty-plus partnerships with Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali before England were all out for 290.

In reply, Rohit Sharma and K L Rahul fended off 16 testing overs to guide India to 43 without loss, curtailing the deficit by 56 runs, by close of play on Day 2.

"The pace of the game would probably change a little bit now. With that ball softer and the outfield quick enough, we might toil a bit longer for wickets. Hopefully, we can go and get the rewards," the 23-year-old told reporters.

Pope revealed that his change in stance by moving back from the middle a little bit helped him negotiate the Indian bowlers well.

"To be honest, I watched the way (Joe) Root played this series and had some good conversation with the coach and some senior players. I've recognised the Indian attack is very skillful and they attack the knee roll. As a batter, you have to adapt, and accordingly a couple of weeks ago I made the decision.

“I really enjoyed it, first Test as well at my home ground, so it was a special, special occasion for me. I trusted my game and defence and was happy to have contributed and put the side in a decent position," he said.

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