Ollie Pope hails Joe Root as ‘England’s greatest ever’ after the pair combined to both score centuries and close the gap on New Zealand at Trent Bridge
- Centuries from Joe Root and Ollie Pope kept England in the second Test match
- Root is currently 163 not out, while Pope vindicated his selection at No 3 with 145
- Pope hailed Root as ‘England’s greatest ever’ after a dazzling display with the bat
- Pope said he had learned of his new role at No 3 while on holiday in Cornwall
Ollie Pope hailed Joe Root as England’s ‘greatest ever’ as both men scored centuries on a run-filled third day of the second LV= Insurance Test against New Zealand.
Pope hit a career-best 145, while Root finished unbeaten on 163 – his 10th Test hundred since the start of last year – as England closed on 473 for five, just 80 behind the tourists.
‘I was just buzzing,’ said Pope, who had not made a Test century since January 2020.
Ollie Pope (left) hailed Joe Root as England’s ‘greatest ever’ batsman after his stunning century
‘It’s not been the easiest ride over the last year or so. Once I got over the line, it was a relief, but I was just so happy.
‘You have to take in those moments, which is something I’ve come to realise. I’ve never doubted my game’s not there for Test cricket, but I want to be performing more consistently and use this as a starting point.’
Pope added 187 at four and a half runs an over with Root, having spent time working in the nets with him on his own game.
‘We’re seeing England’s greatest ever,’ he said.
‘You try to learn as much as you can – whether that’s him throwing balls at you for 20 minutes at the end of a session, or trying to pick his brains.
Root scored his fastest Test hundred as England fought back on day three of the Test
‘The relentless nature of what he’s doing is something I can learn off. He wants success for his team-mates as much as he does for himself.’
Pope said he had learned of his new role at No 3 when Test coach Brendon McCullum phoned him while he walking his dog on a holiday in Cornwall.
‘I’ve told people it’s the first time I can see myself as a No 3 in red-ball cricket. To get the runs today certifies that in my mind, and hopefully I can use this as a massive advantage moving forward.’