“Ranchi pitch has platey cracks..”- Ollie Pope reveals how the Ranchi pitch will behave

England’s number 3 batter Ollie Pope whose individual brilliance saw him score 196 in the 3rd innings of the 1st Test which the visitors eventually won by 28-run in Hyderabad, has given his honest remarks about the surface at the JSCA stadium in Ranchi which plays host of the 4th Test between the two sides, starting from February 23rd onwards.

England are currently down by 2-1 and will enter the Test match having lost the previous one by a margin of 434 runs at the Niranjan Shah stadium in Rajkot. Ollie Pope among other England batters failed to display the exciting Bazball style of play when it mattered the most and when they needed to chase down 557 in 2 and half days for the win.

“Interesting pitch”- Pope’s first take on Ranchi’s surface

Both India and England have started their practice in Ranchi for the 4th Test and have also checked the pitch to assume how it will behave when the match begins and draws towards an end. Pope remarked that the surface is quite interesting after his first look at the pitch, claiming that it won’t be a belter with a crusty top and claimed one side is good but the other isn’t.

“It’s an interesting pitch. Won’t necessarily be belter of a wicket. There are a few cracks, very platey and it was wet as well when we checked. It would dry if you keep it in the sun, looked a bit crusty, the top layer, One half is good, and the other has a lot of platey cracks.” – Ollie Pope told the reporters in Ranchi.

Pope feels that it will be an important toss to win for either side as teams batting first might have a slight advantage as seen previously in all of the first 3 Test matches where teams batting first eventually came out as winners. The right-hand batter also revealed that there is a rough patch on both ends that too outside the off-stump and that might help the cause of spinners like Ravi Ashwin, Jadeja, Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed, and Kuldeep Yadav among others.

Ollie Pope also warned teammates about the lengths that Indian spinners could pick. “At the moment, from the far end, there is a rough outside the right-hander’s off-stump, and from this end, outside the left-hander’s off-stump. You need to be aware of the lengths they would target.” – Pope added. 

“Probably have to wait and see”, Ollie Pope’s conclusion on Ranchi pitch

Before leaving the press room, Ollie Pope hoped that the curators would leave an even amount of grass on the pitch but then he kind of knew that there were very few chances of that happening since the pitch was watered at the he checked. His assumption turned into further belief after he came to know that Jasprit Bumrah will not be featuring in the 4th Test so there will be no traces of grass whatsoever.

“If they want to leave a bit of grass on it, or shave it off. There is every chance they would do that (remove the grass) especially because they have watered it. With Jasprit missing, they might go down that avenue. Probably have to wait and see.” – Pope concluded. 

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