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India vs England: Youngster Pope feels ready for England Test debut

By Opta
Ollie Pope - cropped

London, August 7: Ollie Pope is not fazed by the possibility of making his England Test debut at 20, having seen how Alastair Cook and Sam Curran burst onto the international scene as youngsters. Pope has been rewarded for a fine domestic season at Surrey with a call-up to the squad for the second Test against India at Lord's, which begins on Thursday.

The batsman only made his first-class debut last year but an average of over 85 in the County Championship this season saw him earn international recognition.

Despite a meteoric rise, Pope insists he is ready for the five-day game and referenced Cook, who scored a century at 21, and fellow 20-year-old Curran, who starred with bat and ball against India last week in just his second Test.

"I've had a good season so far," Pope told the media. "From the people I've spoken to, they've given me confidence. I've got the confidence in my own game to take the next step.

"You hear of stories of some of the greats in the game, people like Cook, when they made their debut. It's not like it hasn't been done before, hopefully I take my chance. I feel confident in my own game and ready for the next step.

"I've played with since we were 14, 15. We've gone through the same path. The way he played last week, it can give me confidence to know I can do it too."

The last time England were at Lord's against Pakistan in May, Pope spent the first day of the Test around the team to get a feel for the international set-up.

Dawid Malan was England's number four then, but, having been dropped after a poor performance at Edgbaston, his role could now be filled by Pope, who bats at six for his county.

"Against this Indian side, where they bowl a lot of spin, I think there's not actually a massive difference," Pope claimed.

"When I bat at six some games I've been in in the 10th over, other games I've come in for the second new ball. I think the four-to-six region, I don't think there's a massive difference in the way you play. When you're batting at six, you could face the new ball, you could be in in the 10th over, same with number four."

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 18:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 7, 2018
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