sport news NASSER HUSSAIN: Ollie Pope gives me hope to ease England batting problems

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Ollie Pope gives me hope as Surrey man has technique and temperament to ease England batting problems Ollie Pope hit an impressive 75 for England in second Test against New Zealand Surrey man shared a stand of 193 with England captain Joe Root in first innings Pope has great scope for improvement and played with composure and tempo

By Nasser Hussain for the Daily Mail

Published: 20:44 GMT, 2 December 2019 | Updated: 21:10 GMT, 2 December 2019


Of all the batsmen who have come into the England set-up over the last couple of years, Ollie Pope is the most exciting and technically sound.

If you work on the premise that selection should be an investment in potential and growth, Pope has the most scope for improvement. 

He’s got the weight of runs behind him, too, in county cricket for Surrey by being organised and with a method that enables him to play all round the wicket.

Ollie Pope can star for England after he scored 75 in the second Test against New Zealand

Ollie Pope can star for England after he scored 75 in the second Test against New Zealand

Pope has grown up at the Oval, scoring at a certain pace, but you receive fewer bad balls in international cricket and it takes time to adjust to the right tempo.

Here New Zealand tested Pope’s discipline by bowling to him outside off-stump because they know he has got out by playing at balls there that he shouldn’t do.

Pope rose to that challenge on the fourth day of the final Test, playing with composure and at the right tempo, and while there will be times when he has a flirt outside off-stump, at least he has an off-side game. 

His eyes can light up when a bowler throws one out there, as attacks also try to do with Joe Denly, but what I would say to Pope is try to stroke them for two rather than throw the kitchen sink at them, and you will soon find balls going for four.

It must have helped him batting here with Joe Root, because there is no better player for him to learn from. Pope has a similar technique and movements to the England captain. This would have been a great education for him.

Looking at it technically, Pope has a split grip on

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