ENG vs NZ | The confidence Brendon McCullum and Rob Key have given me is great, asserts Ollie Pope

ENG vs NZ | The confidence Brendon McCullum and Rob Key have given me is great, asserts Ollie Pope

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Ollie Pope notched his maiden Test hundred vs New Zealand at home.



Ollie Pope has thanked England’s Test team head coach Brendon McCullum and the Director of Cricket Rob Key for giving him confidence ahead of their New Zealand series under Ben Stokes. Pope has scored his first Test hundred at home -- his second overall -- in the second Test match at Trent Bridge.

England reached 473/5 at stumps on Day 3 during the second Test match against world champions New Zealand at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The tourists, led by Kane Williamson, had posted 553 after Ben Stokes won the toss and asked them to bat. But now, the contest is likely to end in a draw. Notably, England are currently 1-0 up in the three-match series, as they beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first Test.

In the second Test, Joe Root, arguably the best Test batsman at present, carried his good form going. The former English captain is still batting on 163, and he got support from their new No. 3, Ollie Pope. The 24-year-old highly-rated batsman, who has often been compared with the legendary Ian Bell, scored 145 from 239 balls and stitched a 187-run stand with Root for the third wicket. It was his first Test hundred since January 2020.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Pope was delighted after notching up the much-anticipated hundred. He is optimistic about taking the excellent form going and at the same time, he credited Brendon McCullum and Rob Key for believing in him.

"It is very satisfying, the first one at home as well. It was an amazing feeling when I passed it," Pope said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"Australia was tough, I didn’t play in the West Indies and I wasn’t necessarily sure I’d be the first man on the teamsheet for this series so to get over the line was great. To hear Stokesy [wanted me in the team] and the confidence Rob Key and Brendon McCullum have given me is great. Hopefully, it is just the start."

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