India in England: It would have been a dream to score century at my home ground, says Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope, who scored a crafty 81 on his comeback Test on Friday said that it would have been a dream to score a century at his home ground. England eked out a first-innings lead of 99 runs on Day 2.
Having long been touted as the natural successor to England skipper Joe Root, middle-order batsman Ollie Pope is gutted to miss a century at his home Turf in Oval on Day of the fourth Test against India.
Making his comeback into the team, the 23-year-old scored a crafty 81, which helped England to eke out a first-innings lead of 99 runs.
"To be honest I was pretty gutted. At my home ground it would have been a bit of a dream to have got over the line,” Pope said at the virtual press conference, after the second day’s play of the fourth Test.
"But I guess if someone said you'd get an 80 first game back you'd have taken that, but I'm gutted all the same.
India were bundled out for 191 in their first innings. England in reply posted 290 as they rode on Ollie Pope’s 81 and Chris Woakes 50 for 99-run first innings lead. India were 43 for 0 when stumps were drawn.
The hosts looked in dire straits at 62 for 5 but Pope added 89 runs with Jonny Bairstow to prop up the English innings and 71 with Moeen Ali to steer them past India's disappointing total.
The Indian seamers, who had been bowling with a lot of discipline, suddenly took their foot off the pedal and boundaries started flowing.
Pope hit Shardul Thakur for three boundaries in the same over and his aggression appeared to rub off on Bairstow, who meted out similar treatment to Mohammed Siraj in the next over.
"I tore my quad so I haven't had a lot of game time. It's hard to prepare for a Test, nothing prepares you for that sort of morning of a Test match.
"I just wanted to be as confident as I can with the bat. I've netted hard over the last few weeks. I've watched pretty closely these last few Tests and just tried to give myself the best chance," said Pope.