The Ashes: Ollie Pope says he feels set to become England captain if Ben Stokes struggles with fitness | Cricket News
Ollie Pope says he feels ready to captain England in Test cricket this summer if Ben Stokes’ fitness doesn’t allow him to play in each of their six matches.
Stokes’ long-standing left knee injury erupted during the New Zealand series in February, limiting his ability to bowl, despite only playing twice for Chennai Super Kings in the Premier League. Indian League due to issues and non-selection.
Pope was recently named Stokes vice-captain ahead of a test summer which begins with a one-off game against Ireland at Lord’s from June 1 and then continues with Ashes’ five-game series from June 16, with all live matches. Sky sports.
The Surrey batter said Sky Sports News to be named Stokes’ assistant: “It’s a huge honour. I was delighted to find out and it’s a good thing to have, it gives you that extra confidence that you are supported by the management and your team-mates.
“It really doesn’t change anything for me. I tried to help Stokesy wherever I could, not that he needed it, if I have any ideas and obviously we have some great guys to call on with a amazing experience, so these guys will be great to lean on.
“Everyone wants to see Stokesy play all six Tests so fingers crossed is good and he can do it. But if that’s the case (that I’m captain) then I feel (ready). It’s a big step forward in warm-up matches, but I have some experience with it.
“I’ve watched Stokesy quite closely on how he approaches his captaincy. There’s only one Ben Stokes. I wouldn’t try to be him, but if asked, I am 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 relaying the messages and keeping a positive attitude.”
Pope: Foakes ’emptied’ of losing his place in England
Pope’s Surrey team-mate Ben Foakes has lost his place in the England squad, with Jonny Bairstow, fit again, to take the wicketkeeper gloves against Ireland after recovering from a a broken leg.
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Foakes found himself the odd man out with Harry Brook, who initially replaced Bairstow in the XI following the latter’s injury last September, starting his Test career with four hundred and three half centuries in six matches.
Pope said: “(Foakes) is obviously pretty gutted, but he’ll be keen to keep developing his game to get back into the team. He’s been an important part of what the team has been up to for the past 12 months. .
“At the same time, Harry Brook almost made himself invincible with the way he played and then you have what Jonny (Bairstow) did last summer (scoring four hundred in six Tests).
“It’s a very difficult decision to make and everyone feels for Foakesy, it’s not a good position, but everyone is really happy to have Jonny back in the team.
“We know what he can offer and the amazing things he did last summer, so that’s exciting.”
England have won 10 of their 12 Tests since Stokes became captain and they have embraced an aggressive brand of cricket with Pope confident the success can continue against Australia.
The 25-year-old added: “An Ashes series is bigger than any series we play, there is no hiding behind it. I would like to think that in England we are favourites.
“As long as we can continue to convey these positive messages to the group, that is the main thing for us. I am 100% convinced that we can continue this momentum.”
Watch the England Summer Test live on Sky Sports Cricket. The four-day test against Ireland takes place at Lord’s from June 1-4 with the Ashes series underway at Edgbaston from June 16.