Ollie Pope set to Captain England at trials if Ben Stokes misses out due to fitness issues

Ollie Pope set to Captain England at trials if Ben Stokes misses out due to fitness issues
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Curated by: Aditya Maheshwari

Last update: May 26, 2023, 5:37pm IST

London, United Kingdom (UK)

Right-handed batsman Ollie Pope has said he will be ready to captain England to Test cricket next summer at home if Ben Stokes misses any of his six matches due to longstanding health problems.

Stokes suffered a longstanding injury to his left knee which flared up during the series in New Zealand in February, limiting his ability to use his pace bowling with his right arm. He, too, suffered discomfort while a part of Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023, which limited his participation to just two matches.

“Everyone wants to see Stokesy play all six Tests so fingers crossed that all is well and he can do it. But if it is the case (that I captain) then I feel (ready). It’s a big step up from doing it in warm-up games, but I have a little bit of experience with it.”

“I have been watching Stokesy quite closely with the way he deals with his captaincy. There is only one Ben Stokes. I wouldn’t try to be him, but if they ask me, I feel confident that I can convey the same messages to the guys.”

“The team has been together for a long time and the guys know what their roles are in the team, so it’s all about getting the messages across and staying positive,” Pope was quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.

Pope was recently appointed Stokes vice-captain ahead of England’s summer test, which kicks off with a one-off against Ireland at Lord’s on June 1, followed by a highly anticipated five-match Ashes series starting on June 16 at Edgbaston.

“It’s a great honor. I was excited to hear about it and it’s nice to have, it gives you a little more confidence that you’re being backed by management and teammates. It doesn’t really change anything for me. I tried to help Stokesy in any way I could, not that I need to, if I have any ideas and obviously we have some great guys to go to with incredible experience, so it will be great to lean on them,” he said. .

England have won 10 of 12 Tests since Stokes became captain and embraced an aggressive style of cricket, and Pope insists last year’s success can continue against Australia.

“An Ashes series is bigger than any series we play, there’s no hiding behind it. I would like to think that in England we are favourites. As long as we can continue to deliver those positive messages to the group, that’s the main thing for us. I am 100 percent confident that we can continue that streak,” he said.

England are looking to regain the Ashes against Australia for the first time since 2015. After Edgbaston hosts the first Ashes Test on June 16-20, the rest of the games will take place at Lord’s (June 28-July 2). , Headingley (July 6-10), Old Trafford (July 19-23) and The Oval (July 27-31).


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