OLLIE Pope has set his sights on becoming one of the world’s leading batsmen and is taking his cues from the best in the business.
Pope is just five matches into his international career but is being tipped as the most promising young player to emerge from county cricket since his England captain, Joe Root.
The 22-year-old boasts a towering first-class average of 58.06 and is beginning to find his feet at international level, with half-centuries in two of his last three innings heading into tomorrow’s third Test against South Africa. And Pope has made a point of watching and learning from the most dominant players of the current generation - Steve Smith and Virat Kohli.
Reflecting on the impressive 61 not out he made last week in Cape Town, Pope said: “The way I went about my innings was just remembering how some of the best players in the world have done it.
“I remember watching Smith and Kohli from when they played against England and how, even when they were nine down, they were trying to face almost every ball.
“You ask any young batsman coming into the game, 100 per cent they are the guys you want to be like – and Rooty.
“They have been the main run-scorers in international cricket over the last however many years and hopefully I’ve got the game that I can start building towards that, get some big scores and follow in some of their footsteps.”