England batsman Ollie Pope notched up his 5th Test century, and quite possibly his best one, in Hyderabad on Saturday to keep England fighting in the first Test against India.
Ollie Pope’s incredible century is being hailed by many as one of the best ones a visiting batsman has played in India over the past 20 years.
In the second innings, until England had wiped out the deficit, they had lost 5 wickets, including captain Ben Stokes, who was the top scorer in England’s first innings. It felt like England would be bowled out today, but Pope’s century, and his partnerships with Ben Foakes and Rehan Ahmed, meant that England ended Day 3 with a lead of 126 runs and 4 wickets in hand.
The talking point of his innings were his spate of sweeps and reverse-sweeps. If anyone would look at his wagon wheel, they’d be mistaken for wondering Pope played a lot of backfoot cuts and pulls on either side of the pitch on the square. However, the right-hander produced an array of sweeps, paddles, reverse-sweeps, reverse paddles, and reverse-scoops too.
One shot that Ollie Pope played has now been named the reverse Dilscoop. The Dilscoop is the one where a batter scoops the ball with his head down over the wicket-keeper. On one occasion, though, Pope lined up to play a reverse sweep to Ravindra Jadeja, but seeing the ball on middle and leg, he changed it to a scoop, still in his reverse sweeping stance.
Watch: Ollie Pope plays a no-look reverse Dilscoop
What’s this pic.twitter.com/JKgkAFWEoZ
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This is only the 5th time since 2015 that a visiting batsman has scored a Test century in India in the 3rd or 4th innings of a Test match. To do it against the Indian bowling attack of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj makes this one by Ollie Pope one of the best tons by a visiting batter in India in the 21st century.
This is the first time in 12 years, since England in Nagpur in 2012, that a team has reached 300 in the second innings in India. This is a phenomenal effort from Pope.