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We have practised reverse sweeps enough before coming to India: England's Ollie Pope

England were nestled at Abu Dhabi before coming to India as they mainly trained behind the doors immersing themselves in training to tame sub-continental conditions

PTI Hyderabad Published 29.01.24, 10:47 AM
Ollie Pope

Ollie Pope File picture

Ollie Pope, whose sensational 196 formed the core of England's 28-run win over India in the first Test here, said on Sunday that he practiced those sweeps and reverse sweeps extensively before arriving on these shores.

England were nestled at Abu Dhabi before coming to India as they mainly trained behind the doors immersing themselves in training to tame sub-continental conditions.

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"They're very skilled bowlers. If you try and defend each ball, there's probably more of a chance to get out, rather than play with cross-bat shots. We've practised those shots enough before coming here. I think you have to just commit to it.

"It could be as safe as defence, playing a reverse sweep or a sweep. Then it is also going to lead to more half-volleys too from the bowlers," Pope, who was later adjudged player of the match, said during his post-match press meet.

The Essex cricketer said their base camp at Abu Dhabi created a lot of confidence among the group.

"We put in all that work in Abu Dhabi. I think that's probably allowed us to come back from that big deficit. That's exactly what we want to do as a team. We'll keep doing it hopefully in the future," he added.

Pope was coming out of a debilitating shoulder injury that he suffered during last year's Ashes against Australia.

The 26-year-old said returning to the top-level cricket after a hiatus was playing on his mind ahead of the opening Test.

"That's probably my biggest concern from a batting point of view. It was about getting back up to speed with playing cricket again, and getting my mind through those processes that you do go through as a batter.

"I've generally been somebody who needs a couple of knocks to start feeling my best. But I think credit goes to Baz (McCullum) and Stokesy for the way we've gone about this whole week," he said.

Pope said he has been working on his batting during his time away from top-flight cricket.

"I've worked hard on my game while I've been injured. Fortunately, I've been batting for two or three months now. So, I feel really good.

"But for me, it was just about getting my head around putting a big innings together. Like I said, in a winning cause, it means a hell of a lot more," said Pope.

Pope was also appointed as England vice-captain for this tour, and he said that allowed him to take his focus away from technical aspects of batting which can consume a lot of mind space.

"Yeah, I think so. It's good to immerse yourself in whatever you're doing, rather than standing in the field and thinking about my forward defence, which I probably did maybe three or four years ago.

"Here I was actually thinking about plans, and there's no need to be thinking too much about the body. You can do all that stuff before and just thought I'll be going to a Test match pretty relaxed," he concluded.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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