Record-breaking England lived up to 'Bazball' mantra against Pakistan, says centurion Pope

By Sports Desk December 01, 2022

England's record-breaking start to the first Test against Pakistan was a prime example of the aggressive style implemented by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, says Ollie Pope.

Pope joined Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook in making his century as England closed on 506-4 after an incredible display in Rawalpindi, becoming the first team to make 500 runs on day one of a Test and beating Australia's previous record of 494 runs against South Africa from 1910.

England have produced several fine batting displays since McCullum and Stokes took over as head coach and captain this year, leading Pope to hail the squad's willingness to buy into their ideas.

Speaking to Sky Sports after helping England make a historic start to their first Test in Pakistan since 2005, Pope said: "I think it's the ideal start to the tour!

"We really listened to what Baz and Stokesy have said. It was an amazing day.

"The best thing is everyone has lived by how the two guys up top want us to play. 

"They want us to entertain people. It is not about milestones. It is about putting on a show and putting the team in a good position. 

"The fact everyone is so happy to buy into that puts us in a really good place."

Meanwhile, Duckett's ton saw him make a dream return to England's red-ball side after a six-year hiatus, leaving the 28-year-old in disbelief.

"Very special, pretty crazy day and a crazy build-up to the Test match. For me personally, it's a special day, it's one I didn't think that'll come around," Duckett said.

"I don't think there will be a better environment to be involved in. I am sure there will be a lot of cricketers in England who will want to be part of it. It went well today.

"It helps being in these conditions, I knew it was going to be nice batting conditions. The T20 series [in Pakistan] was a big confidence thing for me."

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