WTC 2021-23: England batsman Ollie Pope says coach Brendon McCullum helped him overcome fear of getting out
WTC 2021-23: England batsman Ollie Pope has credited head coach Brendon McCullum with helping him overcome the fear of losing his wicket in Test cricket, saying the New Zealander changed his mindset.
After scoring 145 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge, the 24-year-old experienced a fantastic summer while playing in his new number three position. He was one of England’s five century makers.
“… From a mindset point of view, I think it’s more that I had some good chats with Baz (McCullum) actually, and he’s been very much, ‘stop fearing getting out in Test cricket’,” Pope told British media.
“I think because Test cricket is so important to me I’d do anything to have a great career and play 100 Tests or whatever. Also I think I was almost putting myself under too much pressure, and that fear of getting out was probably getting a bit too much.
“I tried to get rid of that, and try and score my runs basically. Rather than think, ‘if I cut this I might nick it’, I (now) think ‘if I cut it and I nick it then it might go over the slips for four’. That is the mindset change I’ve tried to go by.”
Pope, who had never batted at number three in first-class cricket before making his Test debut at number six, said he now feels at ease at the position.
“I’ve enjoyed that position this summer, it’s been new, but hopefully I’ll be backed to do it in the future as well,” he said.