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England star Joe Root has praised Ollie Pope after the batsman’s brilliant performance against India on Saturday.
The Three Lions have made a slow start to the Test series in South Asia, scoring only 246 runs in their first innings.
However, Pope’s impressive performance on Saturday has now given the tourists hope of a sensational victory.
The 26-year-old played an unbeaten 148 as England ended the third day at 316-6 from their 77 overs so far.
England star Ollie Pope steps up for the Three Lions during the India Test series on Saturday
And Root, speaking to TNT Sports, has now praised Pope’s performance and termed his batting performance as a ‘masterclass’.
The former England Test captain said, “It was a great day of cricket for us.”
“The way we played from the start and went about it – we were very clinical with the ball and didn’t let them take advantage of what they did yesterday.
“The early partnerships with the bat were fantastic. It could have been difficult, but they have been very important to us over the last few years.”
“There were partnerships even after that when we had to go through that difficult period when the situation was turning around – some of us couldn’t manage it.
“But the way Ollie played was an absolute masterclass on how to bat in this part of the world.
“When you’re not used to playing here frequently, you only get the odd tour here and there, it was really phenomenal.
“He consistently made the right decisions under pressure, in big moments of big games and despite battling his injuries.
“We’re all very happy that he laid down a marker like that early in the series to get us back into the series.”
Root was enthusiastic with England’s performance overall and insisted that they had a chance to win the first Test.
He added, “It was a good pitch to bowl on! There must be something in it for a part-timer like me to take four wickets.”
“But for us as a group, it’s about how we want to go about things and ask questions.
“What we did today is great for us to look forward to, not only for tomorrow but for the rest of the series.
“It’s a long old tour, there will be ups and downs and the momentum will change in different ways.
“But it’s really important for us to take a lot of positives from this start.
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Ollie Pope finished the third day’s play with an unbeaten 148 as England made a comeback against India.
“It shows a lot about our mentality as a group because we never feel out of the game.
“We are in a good position now and we have to look forward to tomorrow.
“We will continue to play how we play. Ollie recognized certain situations throughout the game, managed the reverse swing but was also able to manipulate the field and pick it up when needed.”
Meanwhile, former India star Deep Dasgupta feels his team remains favourites.
However, he admits that England have now given themselves a fighting chance for a positive result.
England cricket star Joe Root was very happy with the Three Lions’ impressive performance on the third day against India
“It was a great day for Test cricket,” he told the BBC. “England won the first and third sessions, India won the second. You can’t get a better Test day than this.”
“England are back in the game. Rehan looks quite useful. Another 40 or 50 runs and the fourth or fifth day could be interesting for us.
“India are still favorites but England are definitely back in this Test.”