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Joe Root hails Ollie Pope’s ‘masterclass’ innings against India as ‘one of the best I’ve ever seen’

  • Former England captain Root was full of praise for the current vice-captain
  • Fresh from injury, Pope hung on and posted a remarkable score of 148 not out
  • England will now need to score as many runs as possible in tomorrow’s session

Joe Root hailed the ‘masterclass’ from Ollie Pope that gave England an unlikely first Test hope, saying the vice-captain’s unbeaten 148 was ‘one of the greatest innings I’ve ever seen.’

The former England captain was effusive in his praise after Pope lifted England from near-certain defeat to a position where, on 126 with four wickets to go on the fourth day, they at least proved India would not have it all their own way in this one. series of five tests.

«It was an absolute masterclass in how to bat in these conditions from a player who hasn’t been exposed to these surfaces day in and day out,» Root said after the third day of the first Test, which England dominated.

«Coming back from a serious injury that kept him out most of last summer and then producing that?» I have no words.

“It’s one of the best shots I’ve ever seen and I’ve played a lot of cricket. I saw a lot of great players and to witness that today was so special. I’m really happy for him.”

Joe Root hailed a «masterclass» from Ollie Pope to give England an unlikely first Test hope

The former England captain was effusive in his praise after Pope lifted England from a position of near-certain defeat

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Root, who began the day by picking up two of India’s remaining three wickets in consecutive balls as the hosts extended their lead to 190, believes Pope has ensured England «lay down the marker» after a disappointing start to this huge series that is she saw in the first two days he largely surpassed.

«Regardless of what happens in the rest of this game, we showed we have the tools and skills to really compete in these conditions and to keep doing it our way,» he said.

Root became the highest run-scorer in Anglo-Indian Test history in that match and has long been England’s exemplar of how to play spin in subcontinental conditions, but he believes the honor can now be handed to Pope.

«I’m not the benchmark anymore,» Root said. “I may have scored a few runs in the subcontinent, but not on that kind of surface against that kind of attack.

Pope was imperious in his shooting and single-handedly held England’s innings together

“Seeing Popey stand up like that will give the rest of the group a lot of confidence.

Root revealed that Pope stood up in front of the team ahead of the third day and spoke about what was needed if England were to get back into this series after the toughest of starts.

«It doesn’t matter what he said,» added Root. “But for him to stand up as vice-captain and then lead from the front like that says a lot about him as a character.

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