In a significant turn of events, the upcoming Rajkot Test promises to be a milestone affair for England’s dynamic skipper, Ben Stokes. With this match, Stokes will join the esteemed centurion club, having played 100 games in the format. The journey for the genuine all-rounder has been arduous, and demanding both physically and mentally. 

Yet, amidst the challenges, the 32-year-old has emerged as one of England’s premier match-winners, boasting a stellar track record of top-notch performances. Praising his captain’s impending feat, fellow teammate Ollie Pope commended Stokes’ remarkable ability to elevate his game under pressure, showcasing true leadership on the cricketing stage.

“It’s unbelievable. For anyone to play 100 tests is an unbelievable experience. And think he’s obviously had his highs and his lows in his career, but what he’s done since he’s been captain has been amazing and there’s so many sort of special moments that you can look back on his career and think, Jesus, guy has sort of probably changed the game a lot in a lot of respects, and he just got away of bringing out the very best of him when it means the most to the team,” Pope said as quoted by Cricbuzz.

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The guys are energised coming into these last three tests: Pope

In the midst of a taxing five-match Test series, the break between the second and third Tests has proven to be a welcome respite for the visiting team. England utilised the 10-day hiatus to journey to the UAE, a familiar setting from their pre-tour preparations. Pope acknowledged the timing of the break as opportune for their side. The breather offered crucial recuperation for players amid the gruelling series, providing an invaluable chance to regroup and recharge ahead of the forthcoming Tests.

“Yes, good, relaxing break. Think obviously when you get a gap between Test matches you often just try and chill out, get away from cricket for a few days and that’s exactly what we did. I think it is nice to have families over; a lot of the guys who have young kids, so I think it’s nice to reunite with them midway through our tour. It’s a nice way just to refresh. The guys are energised coming into these last three tests,” Pope concluded.


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