Visakhapatnam: Ollie Pope played the innings of his life to turn the game on its head after England opener Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett fired at the top of the order in the second innings of the 1st Test in Hyderabad.
The duo provided a brisk start even on day one and captain Ben Stokes was all praise for them.
"The combination that Ben and Zak have had for us at the top since they've become a partnership has been incredible. The way in which they set the tone for everybody else but also they way they put the bowlers under a serious amount of pressure with a new ball," Stokes said at the pre-match press conference.
"A new ball is always the most difficult period, but consistently not only are they able to negate that but they're also able to get the scoreboard rolling at a very, very good rate, which is a huge thing for our dressing room and our batting lineup as well.
"It's pretty obvious there is a difference in height between the both of them and I think they complement each other very, very well. Balls that Zak plays on the front foot, Ducky plays on the back foot. So it's very tough for bowlers to settle into a rhythm and settle into a line of length against those two. One's left-handed. one's right. So the way in which they complement each other is brilliant," said Stokes.
He also had encouraging words for young leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, who picked up only two wickets in Hyderabad.
"Honestly, all I tell him is just think about taking wickets. I tell it to everybody, but Rehan in particular. Leg spinners I think need that and need to be made to not feel worried about any sort of anything else other than that." Agencies