England’s Ollie Pope ‘gutted’ to miss out on ‘dream’ Test century against India on home turf at The Kia Oval

“In my homeland, it would have been a dream to have crossed the line”; Ollie Pope was “gutted” to miss a century after falling 81 on the second day of England’s fourth Test against India in the Kia Oval; Watch the third day from 10.15 am, Saturday on Sky Sports Cricket

Ollie Pope turned 81, but was ‘gutted’ after losing a hundred in his native land

England hitter Ollie Pope admitted he was “gutted” for missing a century in his homeland after being fired for 81 on the second day of the fourth test.

The 23-year-old Surrey right-hander hit superbly on his return to flank after injury and had led the hosts to a first-inning lead over India in the Kia Oval before dragging the ball to his stumps with a first Test hundred. on the floor of the house in sight.

Joe Root’s team eventually got a 99-run lead before India cut it to 56 when they hit stumps at 43-0, leaving Pope to ponder the “dream” ton he missed.

“To be honest, I was pretty heartbroken,” he told Sky Sports. “In my homeland, it would have been a dream to have crossed the line.

“But I guess if someone said you would get an 80 back in the first game, you would have accepted it, but I’m heartbroken anyway.

“I broke my quadriceps so I haven’t had a lot of playing time. It’s hard to prepare for a test, nothing prepares you for that kind of test match tomorrow.

“I just wanted to be as confident as possible with the bat. I have scored a lot in the last few weeks. I have watched these last tests very closely and tried to give myself the best chance.”

Pope was able to score all the ground with his 159-ball hit and Sky Sports experts Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain believe that a changing of the guard and offside opening played an important role in helping him record a sixth Test 50.

“He played really well and it’s really nice to see him play that on the drive, take off a couple of extra drives and look to get in control, but he’s also looking to have options to put pressure on the pitcher again,” Butcher said. .

“That’s what brought him to prominence in the first place, the fact that he is a free-goal player, that he can rush a bit and is not restricted by one side of the field or the other.

“He’s found himself in a more neutral position, I think, on the fold in terms of set-up and that has allowed him to put his head on the stump line, drop anything that’s wider than that and score when That’s the one. batting art, finding ways to score runs.

“It does not necessarily mean that there is a right or wrong path in terms of where to take guard, but if the place where you are standing at the beginning prevents you from freely accessing the scoring areas, then the game stops and you are pinned by some that another good one.

“I think he played very well and I’m very happy for him that he did because there have been some whispers about, basically, ‘Here’s a guy who gets thrown everything and does it his way because he looks good. , he scores runs in the Championship, which doesn’t really count ‘- he’s averaging 100 in this field!

“He is 81 in a test match and is 19 less than his average of 100 in this field. So of course he is disappointed, but it is an excellent comeback for him.”

Having long been touted as Root’s natural successor, Hussain says it is now important for Pope to start and turn all of his undoubted talents into big, consistent races for England.

“Yes, it already showed [that he is a Test match batsman]; It is not that we are waiting for it to materialize, it has already shown, “added the former England captain.

“He’s spent time on the nets, whereas sometimes when you play all the time, you can’t correct your game. He’s also had a great role model in the world’s number one hitter, who has done the exact same thing!

“He’s looking at Root doing it and he’s said against this attack, it’s working. There isn’t a good player there, he’s a good player and now he has to move on.”

“The other thing I would advise you to do, because before Malan was cast, it was’ can we bring Pope in at number 3? No, we can’t because he never played above four for Surrey. ‘

“I think eventually, he’s going to have to knock on Alec Stewart’s door and say ‘I’m a good player, I probably need to raise the order in county cricket.’

Watch the third day of the fourth test between England and India, from the Kia Oval, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.15am on Saturday.

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