How Ollie Pope learned from his teenage struggles in India and adapted his game | Mark Ramprakash

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England’s hero in Hyderabad is always listening and learning, and his matchwinning innings has cemented his place in this side

As I watched Ollie Pope’s superb, match‑changing innings in Hyderabad at the weekend my mind kept going back to 2017, and a tour to India with an England Under‑19s side that included three players who have since broken into the senior Test set-up in Pope, Harry Brook and Will Jacks. Ollie really struggled on the trip: he averaged 21.5 in the two Tests, and got out sweeping many times.

Watching the Indian players, the consensus was that they played brilliantly with a straight bat, shots with low risk but potentially high reward, or they got away from the ball and punched off the back foot into spaces on either side of the crease. Only if the ball was going down the side of the wicket would they consider playing a sweep. For England’s players, often against left‑arm spinners looking to bowl wicket-to-wicket, the sweep was a really dangerous shot, because if you miss you’re lbw or bowled. That became almost the mantra of the trip, but Ollie bucked the trend and was punished for it.

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Written by Mark Ramprakash
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2024/jan/31/ollie-pope-india-adapted-his-game-england-test-cricket under the title “How Ollie Pope learned from his teenage struggles in India and adapted his game | Mark Ramprakash”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.