ENG vs NZ: Having Ollie Pope At No.3 Was Never Going To Be Straightforward – Nasser Hussain

Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow
Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow. Credits: England Cricket Twitter.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain opined on Ollie Pope’s promotion to the batting order in red-ball cricket.

In the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, Pope was slotted to bat at No.3 and former skipper Joe Root was restored at No.4 in England’s revamp under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

Pope, who has batted at No.6 for the majority time of his Test career, could manage just seven runs in his new position. The Surrey batter nicked behind the wickets off Kyle Jamieson’s nipping away delivery.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope. (Image: Twitter)

Having Ollie Pope batting at No 3 was never going to be straightforward: Nasser Hussain

Hussain believes the move to promote Pope up the batting order won’t work overnight and acknowledged Pope’s failure on Day 1.

Having Ollie Pope batting at No 3 for the first time was never going to be straightforward. But this is a structural, long-term problem, and it’s not going to be solved overnight. Until that dreadful final session, there were reasons to be cheerful,” Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail Column.

Earlier on Day 1, England skittled out the Black Caps for a paltry 132. Senior bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad returned to the team and Matthew Potts made his debut for England.

Anderson and Broad set the tone with three wickets in the early overs while Potts nicked Kane Williamson behind the wickets before he cleaned up Daryl Mitchell.

Potts finished 4/13 from 9.2 overs on Test debut innings. England captain Ben Stokes, who is teammate with Potts at Durham, was delighted for the 23-year-old’s success.

Ben Stokes Matthew Potts
Ben Stokes and Matthew Potts. Image: ICC

“Stokes also took emotion out of the equation. Like him, Potts is a Durham lad, and you could see how thrilled Stokes was with each of his three wickets in the morning,” Hussain wrote.

“But he didn’t introduce him straightaway after lunch, when he must have suspected Colin de Grandhomme and Tim Southee would go after the bowling a bit, and gave the task instead to the wise old heads, Broad and Anderson,” he added.

Despite Zak Crawley’s audacious drives giving England a promising start, the old woes of batting collapse once again spoiled the moment for the hosts. From 92 for 2 England were reduced to 116/7 at the end of the first day’s play.

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (6) and Stuart Broad (4) are batting for England and will resume the innings on Day 2 (Friday, June 3).

Also Read: ENG vs NZ: Jack Leach Concussion Replacement Matt Parkinson Will Make His Test Debut At Lord’s

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