Ollie Pope hails 'unbelievable' Ben Stokes ahead of England captain joining 100 Test club
Ollie Pope has hailed England captain Ben Stokes for the “unbelievable achievement” of reaching 100 Test matches in his glittering career.
England take on India in the third Test in Rajkot on Thursday with the series on a knife-edge at 1-1 after the hosts hit back from losing a dramatic opening match by securing a 106-run victory in Visakhapatnam.
The two sides then took a break that saw England return to Abu Dhabi to recharge their batteries and spend time with their families before returning to action.
Both matches showed off the attacking intent England have adopted since Stokes teamed up with head coach Brendon McCullum – a combination that has galvanised the country's red-ball team.
Stokes boasts 14 victories from 21 Tests – no one who has captained England on 10 or more occasions in the format has a better win percentage (66.67) – and his revolutionary effect has been praised by Pope.
All-rounder Stokes, who is playing in the series solely as a batter after recovering from knee surgery, has scored 6,251 runs and taken 197 wickets since his Test debut in 2013.
“It’s unbelievable,” England’s vice-captain said. “For anyone to play 100 Tests is an unbelievable achievement. He’s had his highs and lows but what he’s done since he’s been captain has been amazing.
“Stokesy is not someone who likes it being all about him. He doesn’t need those accolades but away from the ground I’m sure we’ll celebrate him, get around him and think of something to do.
“He’s changed the game in a lot of respects. He just has a way of bringing out the best in himself when the team needs him the most.
“There have been so many unbelievable memories and hopefully he can play 100 more. He’s been great to watch, great to be a part of and hopefully