England’s Ollie Pope open to moving up batting order from No 6
Ollie Pope says he is open to going the arrangement for England up finally after scoring his maiden Test ton No 6.
Pope struck on an unbeaten 135 at England’s win and has been allowed as a potential Number 3 by pundits with Joe Denly to turning 34 and score a century for his country.
“I have observed a little bit of chat stating I must be moved up,” Pope told Sky Sports ahead of the fourth Test against the Proteas at Johannesburg, which will be live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Friday.
“I believe I’ve got a game which could adapt to the requirements, if it be batting at not, but I am simply pleased to be playing in the England side. I’m loving every second of this.
“At Surrey I have been batting at No 4 and now I’ve really loved it so whenever the time is correct and should I score enough runs and then justify myself over the years then so be it.
“I believe my game can deal with [shifting the sequence ] but for today I’m delighted to be free of 6.”
Pope played with his first two Tests at home to India in 2018 however after scoring only 54 runs around both matches, failed to make an appearance on the fall tour of Sri Lanka and was subsequently left from the squad for the series in West Indies early the following year.
However, the Surrey batsman says that a shoulder injury the following season, which sidelined him for more than three weeks, gave him the”appetite” to improve and return to Test cricket.
“It could have been a blessing in disguise,” Pope said of his injury.
“I started the  year okay, not amazing, and had no idea how close I had been on the England side. Some boys come in and when you aren’t currently playing and do you really feel like you may be a little farther away than you really are.
“Three and a half a year made me realise how much I love playing cricket and gave me more of a desire to return, made me realise,’if I get in here I am likely to go big’. I had a couple of ideas that are fresh and a fresh mind.
“While I was wounded I sat down from a batting point of view [Surrey assistant trainer ] Vikram Solanki – who’d spoken Andy Flower after a Lions trip I was on – and we all looked at what I could do from the minute I got back to be a better player than I was before.
“A small adjustment in my sport was moving around to off and middle stump as my principal weakness was probably that fifth or sixth stump line, needing to push and shield to cover having a open bat face, especially early in my innings, which might bring me into a bit of trouble”
Pope scored his maiden Test ton after Surrey team-mate Dom Sibley – who is on the books of Warwickshire – notched his in the victory over South Africa in Cape Town.
Even the 22-year-old’s Surrey colleague along with buddy Sam Curran – who gave a passionate speech after Pope hundred – is in the XI, since is Kent youngster Zak Crawley, also a man Pope has risen up playing .
“It is very surreal in a manner. It is a dream we all share,” said Pope.
“As you grow up you do not know how far you are going to go, if you’ll ever get there.
“To do it using the likes of Sibbers [Sibley] and Sam [Curran] – I likely had Sam’s first internet with him in Guildford when he came over at 14 or even 15 – is amazing.
“If you look around the outfield and see most of of these men doing this with you, it is something we’re lucky enough to discuss. It makes the good times much more specific in a manner. As we all are fulfilling our dreams you are almost in a bit of disbelief.
“For both Sibbers and myself to pass on a hundred for the first time and also perform it in a wining cause is amazing and now we can shoot large confidence from it moving into our futures for England.”
Sibley earned his England chance One last year, having transferred to Edgbaston, originally on loan, at 2017.
The 24-year-old told Sky Sports that he struggled to begin with his brand newest county and then team-mate and former England batsman Jonathan Trott helped him to develop his own game – something that he insists he’ll keep doing as he tries to cement his place.
“The first three weeks of my first full year at Warwickshire proved to be demanding. I place myself under too much stress,” said Sibley, who scored an unbeaten 133 at Newlands earlier this month.
“I was going to some new dressing room and batting with Trott and [Ian] Bell – you practically have to prove yourself again, establish yourself to men that have been legends for England.
“I altered a few things technically – Trotty noticed I was standing very narrow to get a tall lad – and fortunately it came away. A couple of countless were scored by me and it went out of there.
“Using England, you’re constantly being told you can’t sit still. Thorpey [assistant coach Graham Thorpe] is constantly saying’how do we increase the ceiling, keep advancing, add things our match as well as maintaining your core game powerful?’
“I have made a few changes against left-arm twist and we have also spoken about perhaps accessing the off-side a little bit more at the start of my innings.
“You are going to play in various parts of the world and require various skills. There is no resting on your laurels. This can only be a good thing.”
Watch day among those fourth Test between South Africa and England, in Johannesburg, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Friday.