UPDATE 1-Cricket-England gets a boost from the Pope, Rahane says India is not complacent


UPDATE 1-Cricket-England gets a boost from the Pope, Rahane says India is not complacent

* Middle Order Drummer Pope Recovers From Shoulder Injury

* Batting consultant Trott wants big first innings total

* Rahane says India is not complacent after Australia summit (adds quotes from Trott and Rahane)

By Amlan Chakraborty

NEW DELHI, Feb.3 (Reuters) – England welcomed a fit Ollie Pope again on Wednesday as batting consultant Jonathan Trott reminded them of the importance of posting a grand total of first innings in the four-test series against India from Friday.

Mid-tier batsman Pope, who injured his left shoulder against Pakistan in August, was training with the team at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, which hosts the first two matches.

“The England medical team are satisfied that he is available for selection,” the team said in a statement.

England will need their batting unit to shoot against India, which is eyeing a 13th straight home test series victory.

“Big points at the start of the first heats like everywhere else, but in India it’s really, really important,” former test hitter Trott said on a video conference.

“Playing the spin and having your own method, and being able to perform it under pressure is probably the most important thing.”

India has always been a hub of the spin, but Trott said it would be a mistake to underestimate their pace attack led by Jasprit Bumrah.

“Certainly we have seen that their rhythm attack in Australia has worked very well and they are very talented, versatile with the ball … It is crucial to prepare for both.”

India are on top after their 2-1 victory in Australia, but vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has ruled out complacency as they seek a place in the first World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

“Not at all. We know that every series, every game is really important,” said Rahane who has led India in the last three matches in Australia after Virat Kohli returned home to witness the birth of his girl.

“What happened in Australia was really special, but it’s in the past. We think about this series and we take it one game at a time.

“What we learned from Australia after losing the test match in Adelaide and how we came back is that it’s about staying in the moment.

“We respect England, they are a very good team. They did very well in Sri Lanka. So we need to play good cricket, support our forces and play as a team,” added Rahane.


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