After securing a 190-run lead on Day 3 of the Hyderabad Test between India and England, the home side conceded some advantage when Ollie Pope, despite having a moderate record against India in the past, launched a scathing attack to guide the team to 316/6 and an effective lead of 126 runs a tstumps
With Indian wickets having a tendency to deteriorate from the fourth day onwards, there remains significant uncertainty over what could be a chasable total in the fourth innings. India would thus be on high alert, but bowling coach Paras Mhambrey doesn’t want to pressure his bowlers by putting a target in front of them.
“We are not looking at any particular target to chase,” Mhambrey said in the press conference in Hyderabad. “The objective is to come tomorrow morning and get early wickets and limit their total. We are not putting any pressure on ourselves by setting any targets. We just want to bowl in the right areas to extract turn and bounce from the wicket.”
Ollie Pope and co. neutralized Indian spinners as the English batters employed sweep shots to great effect. Jasprit Bumrah's late reverse swing was the only threat for England as Ollie Pope played a blinder of an innings to guide England to a respectable position.
"If you look at how the game has progressed over the last few days from the first session, the amount of turn the ball has taken, I think it got better in the second innings. I think it is going to get a bit better on the slower side tomorrow.
"There will be some turn, but it is not the usual turn you see in the Indian sub-continental wickets, the sharp turn when the game progresses. There is a little turn, but not as challenging," the Indian bowling coach noted.
England maintained a run rate of four runs per over in the second innings - a common thread for their success in the last 18 months. Even though Rohit Sharma discounted that approach as irrelevant to India’s winning ways, Mhambrey revealed that India anticipated such an assault at some point before he praised Pope for pulling it off consistently in his unbeaten innings of 148 runs off 208 balls.
"We knew prior to the series the way England played over the last couple of years and the kind of approach they had to Test cricket. We expected them to come here with that aggression and play those kinds of shots. But credit goes to them for playing those shots. Some of the shots Pope played were very brave, and playing those shots consistently can put the opposition under pressure.
"Pope accessed the square leg area and the reverse sweep as well. They took on the attack when it was really needed. Sometimes it happens because someone like him who plays these kinds of shots consistently does get the bowlers under pressure in terms of variations of the line. But we need to be patient with lines and hope to get a wicket," the former Vidarbha pacer elaborated.