Wed, 27 Sep 2023

London [UK], June 9 (ANI): Ahead of the Ashes series starting from June 16, England vice-captain Ollie Pope has said lauded the abilities of Australian batter Steve Smith and said he loves playing in English conditions.

"He loves batting in England, It's obvious he knows these conditions, knows his game inside out. So there's a lot of respect for him," Pope said, according to ESPNcricinfo.

On day two of the World Test Championship final against India at The Oval, Steven Smith scored his 31st Test century.

"There's also a lot of talented bowlers in our changing-room who have worked out ways we can challenge him - both edges as well, So, I think that's probably going to be the main thing for ourselves. Can't say too much but there's probably slightly different plans this time," Ollie Pope said.

"He's been an amazing player for a long time and had a lot of success in all different conditions. But what we've been good at as a team is we've used different approaches, not necessarily hitting the top off the whole time in getting wickets and finding ways to get 20 wickets in a match, whoever's batting," Pope added.

He said Steve Smith is a highly-skilled batter and scores a lot of runs but they would pose a challenge.

"But I think, for him, we might be looking at even quirkier ways to challenge him, test him out and make him as uncomfortable as we possibly can to try and get his wicket. He's got his routines - his slightly longer routines - before he faces each ball, and he won't be ready until he's done all those routines. And that's, again, what's made him successful is that stubbornness," he said.

"We know exactly how he's going to operate, how he's going to want to score his runs and he's not going to move from that during this five-match series whether he scores runs in the first two or three matches or not. It's just knowing how he's gonna approach it and try and sit and negotiate that as best as we can," he added.

Pope said that he enjoys watching Smith bat except against his side.

"Watching him go about his stuff other than when it's against us, I really enjoy watching him bat, I find it intriguing the way he does his angles and the way he changes his trigger for different bowlers - the way he negotiates different challenges in different conditions," Pope said, according to ESPNcricinfo. (ANI)

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