Anil Kumble heaps high praise on Ollie Pope’s 196, calls it ‘one of the best innings on Indian soil’

Written by Abhishek Patil

Former India captain Anil Kumble heaped praise on England vice-captain Ollie Pope’s knock in Hyderabad, calling it one of the best innings on Indian soil. Pope smashed 196 runs to help Enland post 420 runs in the second innings at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Pope scored 196 runs off 278 balls, smashing 21 boundaries to set a 231-run target for India to chase in the first Test of their five-match series.

With this knock, Pope registered the fourth-highest individual Test score by a visiting batter on Indian soil. This was also the fourth-highest individual score by a visiting batter in India in the second innings of a Test match.

Speaking to Sports18 after England’s innings, Kumble said Pope deserved his double hundred while adding that he lived by the sword and died by it. Pope, who used the sweep and reverse-sweep to perfection through the course of his knock, was cleaned up by Jasprit Bumrah while attempting the reverse lap.

“It’s a very good score. 230 runs ahead , the last four added 175 runs. Ollie Pope obviously showed them the way and batted brilliantly. He richly deserved that double hundred. But he lived by the sword and died by the sword. We all expected Joe Root or Ben Stokes to be the danger men for India but come Ollie Pope, and to do what he did was something special,” said Kumble.

He went on to call Pope’s knock one of the best on India soil, while insisting that India needs to get off to a good start in their 231-run chase. Pope also became the first visiting batter to register a 150-plus score in the second innings of a Test in India since 2013.

“Fantastic innings, perhaps one of the best innings on Indian soil. India has a mountain to climb now. The first session post Lunch, India needs to win. For that to happen, the openers need to get a good partnership. You need two big partnerships to come within the top-five batters,” Kumble added.

Pope started Day 4 at 148 and formed crucial partnerships, first with Rehan Ahmed and then with Tom Hartley to help England post a good total on the board in their second innings.

After a 64-run stand with Rehan, Pope stitched an 80-run partnership with debutant Hartley to take England past the 400-run mark.

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Abhishek Patil