Sangakkara was always watching me and trying to help during Surrey Stint: Ollie Pope

The youngster asserted that it was an enriching experience for him to bat with Sanga.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope of England walks from the pavilion. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

With the first day completely washed out at Lords, the cricketing action began on Day 2. England won the toss as Joe Root elected to bowl first with overcast conditions and certain possibility of rain. Team India made two changes bringing in Cheteshwar Pujara and Kuldeep Yadav. England also made a couple of changes as both David Malan and Ben Stokes weren’t included in the playing XI.

The latest entrant in the England cricketing circles, Ollie Pope was presented his maiden Test cap. He became the 687th Test player for the national team. Sharing his experience, 20-year-old relished playing for his county Surrey and also sharing the dressing room with Sri Lankan legend Kumar Samgakkara.

Sangakkara was always watching me and trying to help 

Pope shared an instance where Sangakkara’s advice worked wonders for him. He spoke about a match where both him and the former Sri Lankan captain had a 100-run partnership. The youngster asserted that it was an enriching experience for him to bat with Sanga which gave him a lot of confidence.

“My most memorable moment was putting on a 100-run partnership with him against Somerset. He got 150 and I got 50, just batting with him and talking between overs. I was facing Dominic Bess. He came down and said a small thing. ‘Don’t try to make your own areas’ and the next over I hit the nicest shot of the match. It was the small things. He was always watching and trying to help,” Ollie Pope was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

The right-handed batsman has a wonderful first-class record with a stupendous average of 63.25. Pope has four centuries and three fifties as well. He is also a potential wicketkeeper though Jos Buttler is likely to retain his position as the man behind the stumps. It’s going to be a huge moment for Pope as he gets to play his maiden Test at the Home of Cricket.

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