Pope ‘ready to go’ if England pick him for second Test

Ollie Pope is “ready to go” if England call him up for the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Pope missed the first Test in Centurion after going down with a fever.

But the Surrey batsmen is now fully recovered and eager to take his chance if the England selectors give him the nod ahead of Jonny Bairstow when the second Test gets under way at Newlands on Friday.

“My game is in a good place and, if I do get the nod, I will be ready to go,” Pope told BBC 5 Live.

The start of England’s tour has been blighted by illness to a number of players and Pope, Chris Woakes and Jack Leach all had to sit out the Centurion Test.

England v Australia – First Test – Day One – 2019 Ashes Series – Edgbaston
Chris Woakes, like Pope, missed the first Test in Centurion through illness (Mike Egerton/PA Images).

“I think there have been a few different symptons flying about and it has swept through pretty much the whole camp so there was not much we could do abouti it,” said Pope.

“I was feverish. For the first two days I stayed in bed. But I am feeling OK now. I am on the mend and ready to go.”

England went into the first Test with an all-seam bowling attack and Pope predicts the Newlands pitch will be the key to whether or not the selectors opt to include a spinner for the second Test.

“To be honest looking at the way the game went (in Centurion) I don’t think that (playing without a spinner) was a massive downfall.

“I’m not really sure what the Newlands pitch is like. If it is a quick bouncy wicket then maybe five seamers is the way to go. If it looks pretty dry then maybe a spinner will be involved.”

England lost the opening Test by 107 runs.

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