Ollie Pope Exudes Confidence, Ready for Ashes Captaincy Challenge if Needed
Ollie Pope (L) and Ben Stokes (R). (AP Photo)
England's vice-captain Ollie Pope is self-assured about stepping into the role of Test captain in the Ashes series if Ben Stokes is unable to play. While acknowledging Stokes' determination to be present on the field, Pope expressed confidence in his ability to execute the same strategies and ideas as his captain. He believes that if the need arises, he can effectively fill Stokes' shoes and lead the team.
After impressing as deputy during the winter matches, Ollie Pope received the full support of all-rounder Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. As a result, Pope was formally named vice-captain before the Ireland Test, emphasizing his remarkable growth as a player and acknowledging his pivotal position as the team's No. 3 batsman.
Stokes recently expressed his faith in the decision, pointing to Pope's exceptional achievement of scoring a double-hundred in his debut as vice-captain during the match against Ireland at Lord's last week.
"Fingers crossed Stokesy's (Ben Stokes) body's all good. It's going to take a hell of a lot for him not to be on the pitch even for a day's play, knowing what he's like. But if it did happen, I feel confident.
We've played a lot together as a team over the last year and a bit, and he knows a lot how he wants the bowlers to operate, the kind of fields he sets, and tries to get players to hit balls in areas that they don't normally want to hit [them] in. So I've got a pretty good understanding of how he runs things now and, if needs be, can implement the same ideas," Ollie Pope as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Pope's confidence in assuming the Test captaincy in the absence of Ben Stokes underscores his growth as a player and the trust placed in him by both Stokes and the coaching staff. With a clear understanding of his teammate's approach and tactics, Pope is well-prepared to lead the team and contribute to their success if the situation arises during the Ashes series.