Indian head coach Rahul Dravid was all praise for Ollie Pope after the England batter engineered an unlikely win for Ben Stokes and Co. in the first Test against Team India on Sunday. Impressed with Pope’s counterattack and reverse sweeps against the world-class bowling attack of Rohit Sharma’s Team India, head coach Dravid openly admitted that the Englishman played the game-changing knock for the visitors at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
After smashing a brilliant century on Day 3 of the 1st Test, Pope extended his run and scripted history with the willow against India. The Englishman played an impressive knock of 196 to help the visitors post a gigantic 2nd innings total of 436 in 121 overs. Showering praise on Pope, Indian head coach Dravid said that he wanted to shake his hand after the match.
“I certainly haven’t seen it being done that consistently. I think the sweep is something that we’ve seen people employ in the past. But to be able to play a reverse sweep that consistently and that successfully for that long, you know, hats off and credit to him. I just want to shake his hand and say, incredibly well done, it was an exceptional innings,” Dravid told reporters in Hyderabad.
‘Unbelievable scenes when Rahul Dravid comes out…’
Taking cognisance of Dravid’s recent remarks, legendary South African cricketer AB de Villiers also lauded Pope for his memorable knock against India. “The man of the moment, the legend himself, Ollie Pope. No one saw this coming. Unbelievable scenes when Rahul Dravid comes out and recognizes something special. It is very true what he says,” De Villiers said on his YouTube channel.
Pope played the match-winning knock of 196 off 278 balls in the 1st Test against England. The England batter surpassed Pakistan icon Saeed Anwar in an elite list. Anwar smashed 188* against India at Kolkata in 1999. Only Andy Flower (232*), Brendon McCullum (225), and Garfield Sobers (198) have scored more than the England batter in the 2nd innings (as a visiting batter) against India.
“I watched almost every single ball and it was just incredible how this guy worked the ball around on a very difficult track against the best spinners in the world. It doesn’t get any harder than that. He was just calm and composed,” De Villiers added.