Sam Curran's example inspires England new boy Ollie Pope

Cricket | Steve James August 3 2018 5:00pm The Times Too many left-handers? No — just too few other options Steve James

Cricket | Steve James August 3 2018 5:00pm The Times Too many left-handers? No — just too few other options Steve James

"They make you realise what you can do".

When Pope, whose boyish demeanour somehow manages to make Joe Root look like a grizzled old campaigner, was told of Tendulkar's words in his first press conference in an England shirt, he thoughtfully agreed.

Pope will use the example set by county team mate Sam Curran who shone in last week's first match of the series, his second test appearance, with a five-wicket haul in India's first innings and a crucial half century in England's second. His first-class statistics are extremely impressive as he averages 63 in the 15 FC matches for Surrey with 4 centuries.

Although he took three catches at Edgbaston, he also dropped three, including Virat Kohli on 21.

The Middlesex-born batsman did not feature in the first of the three-match series, but made an entertaining 42 off 35 in second game and made 68 after being promoted to the top of the order the final match, as well as being handed the gloves in Barbados.

Following England's left-handed batsmens' troubles against Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Pope offers another welcome right-handed option for England.

The 20-year-old Ollie Pope has started his first-class career very brilliantly.

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ENGLAND SQUAD FOR THE 2nd TEST: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes. You play him like a normal off-spinner, you've just got to watch him a bit closer out of the hand. Smith also picked uncapped pace bowler Jamie Porter, 25, who has taken wickets by the bucketful to help Surrey crown themselves champions in Division II first and then Division I past year.

"I know the hotel we'll stay in the night before - I know where I need to be and when I need to be there. There are going to be tough moments but that's what you play for".

"The selection panel believe that Ollie's performances and character suggest he is well-suited to worldwide cricket.' Pope has hit three championship hundreds this summer as well as an unbeaten half-century in England Lions" victory over India A.

"I'm sure that they'll be going away working out how they can play it - as we're going working on how to play the off-spin".

"I've got no concerns about it - Ben has no concerns about it (either)", he said.

"Everyone always says that if you're good enough, you're old enough", said Pope.

"I got to know the guys a bit better - and also I now know what it's like on the morning of the first Test at Lord's".

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