Former England captain Michael Atherton has opened up on the best delivery during the pink-ball Test between India and England in Ahmedabad. The third Test between the two sides would go down as an unforgettable game since it lasted only two days and spinners ruled the roost. Out of the 28 scalps to the spinners, Michael Atherton preferred Ollie Pope’s dismissal against Ravichandran Ashwin the most.
Ravichandran Ashwin castled Ollie Pope twice in the Test match; however, Michael Atherton preferred the one in the second innings. The young England batsman could not judge the line of the ball correctly, and instead, the stumps got dislodged with a straighter one. Pope began his innings promisingly and the veteran off-spinner removed him for his 399th scalp.
Michael Atherton claimed that the way Ravi Ashwin got out Ollie Pope was his ball of the game. The Lancashire-born former cricketer loved the set-up as a couple of balls before, the delivery spun to leg-slip over Pope’s left shoulder. Atherton identified that the off-spinner under-cut it and was a beautiful bit of bowling.
“I thought that the wicket of Pope… the way he got Pope out in the second innings, for me that was the ball of the game. People look at that and say ‘look it’s just a straight ball. What’s the problem?’ But a couple of balls before he really spun one that virtually had gone to leg slip over Pope’s left shoulder and that was a deliberately bowled straight ball. He kind of under-cut it and it was an absolutely beautiful bit of bowling,” Atherton said as quoted by Sky Sports.
I felt for Ollie Pope: Michael Atherton
The 52-year old sympathised with Ollie Pope, who he believes is short of rhythm and flow. Furthermore, Atherton felt that he was against one of the greats on a challenging surface. Nevertheless, the Englishman couldn’t stop agreeing that it was a beautiful delivery to get rid of the visiting batsman.
“I felt for Ollie Pope. He’s really short of form and rhythm and flow. And he’s coming up against one of the greats. I think Ashwin is the second-fastest to 400 wickets, isn’t he? One of the greats on a challenging surface. That was a very tough examination but a beautiful delivery to get him out,” he added.