England vs Pakistan: England’s middle-order batsman Ollie Pope opened up on England’s comeback win over Pakistan in the 1st Test, impact of Ben Stokes’s absence on England side and importance of Chris Woakes.
Pope said that Stokes is probably the best cricketer in the world and his absence will be massive for England in the upcoming Tests but also stressed that England have other players who can step up at the right time.
Stokes will miss the concluding two Tests against Pakistan for family reasons.
“There are bigger things than cricket and it is important that Ben Stokes is able to spend time with his family but he will be a massive miss for us for the rest of the series against Pakistan,” Pope wrote in his column for the Sky Sports.
“He is probably the best cricketer in the world at the moment, a game-changer, and even if he does miss out with bat or ball, his aura on the pitch or slip catching still influences games.
“To have him around is awesome but, as we showed in the previous Test, we are not reliant on one player. We have guys who step up to the mark.
Ollie Pope heaped rich praise on Woakes, saying he always contributes with runs, wickets and England values him incredibly.
Woakes’ heroics led England to register a 3-wicket win vs Pakistan in the first Test. Chasing 277, Woakes and Jos Buttler’s match-winning fifties guided the hosts to a 1-0 series lead.
“Two of the best blokes around took us to victory. Woakesy and Jos are very popular within the team and I was so happy it was those two lads that turned the game.
“Whenever Woakesy comes in he seems to do a great job. He is not usually on the front page of papers but he always comes off with wickets, runs, or both and we value him incredibly highly,” Pope added.