Ollie Pope heaped praise on ‘unbelievable’ Ben Stokes as the England skipper is set to play in his 100th Test. Stokes will step out for the landmark Test when the Three Lions take on India in the third Test of the five-match series, starting Thursday, February 15 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium in Rajkot.
Stokes is set to become the 16th English cricketer to reach the landmark. Ahead of the Rajkot Test, Pope thanked Stokes for giving England ‘so many special moments’.
“Unbelievable achievement to play 100 Tests. Since he has been the captain there have been so many special moments,” Pope said in the pre-match press conference.
Stokes took over as the English Test skipper from Joe Root back in 2022 and since then, he has changed the face of their cricket. In 21 Tests as captain, Stokes tasted victory in 14 of them while losing only 6.
Along with head coach Brendon McCullum in the Bazball era, Stokes has helped England make a name for themselves as a brute force.
Stokes has a big task in hand as England are looking to bounce back in Rajkot after losing the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.
‘Bowler’ Ben Stokes unsure in Rajkot Test
Pope, in the meantime, said that there are still doubts over Stokes returning to bowl in the third Test. He said that Stokes has been trying to get his issues sorted regarding his knee.
“Not sure if Ben Stokes will be available to bowl in the Rajkot Test, he is working to get his knee right,” he added.
In 99 Tests, Stokes has scored 6251 runs at an average of 36.34 with 13 hundreds and 31 half-centuries to his name. He is also 3 wickets short of completing 200 wickets in Test cricket.