England’s Ollie Pope is determined to disrupt the formidable form of Australia’s Steve Smith during the upcoming Ashes series. Pope acknowledges the challenge posed by Smith, who showcased his prowess in the World Test Championship final against India, batting for 5-1/2 hours before being dismissed for 121. With 31 test centuries to his name, including seven in England, Smith remains a major threat to the hosts.
Recalling Smith’s exceptional performance during the 2019 Ashes series in England, where he accumulated a staggering 774 runs across four tests, Pope emphasized the need to employ unconventional strategies to dismiss the resolute batsman.
In an interview with British media, Ollie Pope stated, “It’s evident that he understands these conditions. He has been an extraordinary player with consistent success in diverse circumstances… His unwavering determination has been key to his success.”
Analyzing Smith’s batting approach, Ollie Pope affirmed, “We are well aware of his modus operandi, his preferred methods of scoring runs. Irrespective of his performance in the initial matches of the five-match series, he won’t deviate from his approach.”
Pope underlined the importance of disrupting Smith’s rhythm, stating, “Our objective is to disrupt the bubble he operates in. We might even explore unconventional techniques to challenge him, push his boundaries, and create an uncomfortable environment to secure his dismissal.”
The highly anticipated Ashes series, consisting of five tests, will commence on June 16 at Edgbaston. England’s plans to counter the Australian run machine will undoubtedly