New Delhi, Nov 30


ngland’s right-handed batter Ollie Pope has stated that his team will continue to play in their aggressive and high-attacking brand of cricket, dubbed as the Bazball, in next year’s highly-anticipated five-match Test series against India, starting on January 25 in Hyderabad.

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Pope was a member of England's squad which came to India in 2021 and after winning the opening Test in Chennai, the visitors’ lost their way to lose the series 3-1, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel running through the batting order.

“That is exactly how we are going to see things (taking the aggressive option). It’s about managing your expectations. You want to score a hundred every game, and you’ve failed if you don’t. But in India, it might be that case that a run-a-ball 60 is match-winning, 200 might be a good score on some pitches.”

“There’s threat to both edges as a right-hander. Ashwin is probably the best spinner in the world, but (Ravindra) Jadeja and Axar are spinning the ball away from the bat sharply. It’s knowing how you want to score; taking on the bowler and putting them under pressure. It’s a tough place to go and win, but we will give it as much of a crack as we can playing our way,” Pope was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

Pope struggled to get going in Indian conditions and managed to score only 153 runs in eight innings at an average of 19.13. He has not played Tests since the second Ashes game at Lord’s this year, where he dislocated his shoulder and was ruled out of action.

He was recently at a with England Lions in Abu Dhabi, working on the strategies he will need to execute his game plan on the pitches he might face in the Test tour of India. “That India trip was tough. We went 1-0 up on a good wicket and then the pitches changed, the ball started turning square.”

“That was new to a lot of people. In the past, the guys had played on wickets that were good for two days, then started spinning, rather than going from ball one. We have a very similar squad to in India back then. We know exactly how we want to go about things.”

“As a batting group, if the ball is turning past the outside edge, what are our scoring options? Being out here, that is what we have practised (in Abu Dhabi). You need a solid defence, but also to look to score all the time,” he added.

Since moving to number three under Ben Stokes’ leadership, Pope’s average stands at 45.3, as compared to 28.7 before the move. Though he’s the deputy to Stokes, Pope believes having the current Test team think-tank has given more security to players.

“Firstly as a player I have improved in the last couple of years. That is partly due to Stokes and (Brendon) McCullum, and the environment they’ve created. You feel settled in the team, rather than like if you have a bad game you are going to be dropped. Psychologically that has helped.”

“But although you try not to think about it, you are always fighting for your place in Test cricket. What happened in the Ashes after I got injured was great. I will try to improve my game and get as ready as I can, then selection is out of my control.”

Will give it as much of a crack as we can playing our way, says Ollie on England's Test series in India

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