Australia leg-spinner Lloyd Pope ripped the heart out of England at the Under-19 World Cup on Tuesday and propelled his team to the semi-finals after capturing 8-35, the best ever figures in Under-19 World Cup history.
What made Pope’s feat special was the fact England were 47-0 chasing a paltry 128 for victory and collapsed to 96 all out.
The 18-year-old South Australia leg-spinner is already being compared to the legendary Shane Warne, which is understandable as not many leg-spinners pick up eight wickets in a one-day innings. The leggie seems to have what it takes to be a top-class spinner.
Here are three things you should know about Australia’s latest spin sensation.
LLOYD’S FATHER PUSHED HIM TOWARDS LEG SPIN
Generally, it is coaches who ask young cricketers to pick disciplines after spotting certain talents at the nets. However, in Pope’s case it was his father Myles who encouraged him to try leg spin.
“We were living in Cairns and I was mucking around in the nets impersonating people and trying different things when Dad said I should try a few leggies,” Pope was quoted as saying by the Adelaide Advertiser. “I managed to turn the ball and he liked the look of them and convinced me to bowl some in my next game.
“I took six wickets (for Barron River), which was pretty good for an eight-year-old, and thought ‘this is all right’ so I’ve been bowling leggies ever since.’’
In one of the most remarkable comebacks of all time, Lloyd Pope took 8/35 – the best figures in all ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cups – to skittle England for 96, defending 127 in the process.— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 23, 2018
Match Report 👉 https://t.co/uhTc5vakT6#ENGvAUS #U19CWC pic.twitter.com/kcIhN0yIuu
DOMINANT AT YOUTH LEVEL
Pope has ruled the roost in Australia’s underage championships. Over the last two seasons, Pope has taken 54 wickets at a fine average of 16.1 from 23 matches in three underage tournaments – one at Under-17 level and two at Under-19.
He also picked up 15 wickets in five games for Australia in an Under-19 series against Sri Lanka in April last year.
Well bowled young man ! Enjoy the moment & congrats again 👍 https://t.co/4OJuhfb9kG— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) January 23, 2018
MORE RASHID KHAN THAN SHANE WARNE
One look at his bowling effort against England and you realise he bowls fairly quick and relies heavily on googlies, a lot like Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan. Click here to watch his wickets against England.
Four out of the eight wickets that Pope took against England were of googlies. His quick arm action make it that much more difficult to play the sweep shot against him. Interestingly, Pope has taken two wickets or more in six of his last eight limited overs matches.
Test captain Root, who has played in all five Ashes matches and the first three ODIs against Australia this month, will return to England before playing in the one-day international series against New Zealand in late February.
Root said he did not like missing games but made a decision to “have a little break”. His replacement has not yet been named.
“I came into this tour wanting to play everything. I love playing for England and I don’t like missing games of cricket,” the 27-year-old Yorkshire batsman said in a statement.
“I had a long chat with (coach) Trevor Bayliss about things and there’s obviously a big summer ahead and a lot of cricket still to be played.
“It’s going to be really important to make sure that I’m available for all of that.”
Stokes is due in court to face charges of affray on February 13, the same day England play New Zealand in the T20 series.
The 26-year-old missed England’s Ashes series defeat in Australia after he was suspended from international duty by the England and Wales cricket Board following his involvement in an incident outside a nightclub in September.
He was last week included in the squad to play the triangular T20 tournament.
As has been confirmed in the media a first hearing date at court has been set for 13th February. In the circumstances, I have decided that it would not be right to join my teammates until after attending court on the 13th
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) January 22, 2018
The news came ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League auction set for January 27-28 in Bangalore, with both Root and Stokes lining up as among the top-ranking players the eight teams can bid for.
Australian captain Steve Smith has been rested for the T20 games ahead of the crucial Test tour to South Africa, with David Warner stepping up to lead the team.
The T20 tri-series takes place in Australia and New Zealand from February 3-21.
England’s five-match ODI series against New Zealand runs from February 25 to March 10.
Australian captain Steve Smith has shot down suggestions of ball-tampering after video of him using saliva from the corner of his mouth during Sunday’s one-day loss to England raised eyebrows.
Smith laughed off the reaction, after watching a replay of the video, saying it was his standard technique for helping shine the white ball with no assistance from any foreign substance.
“It was all spit. People said something about lip balm. If you look at my lips they are pretty dry. I certainly didn’t have any of that on,” he told reporters Sunday.
“It is just the way I get the spit into the side of my mouth and get some spit onto the ball. There was nothing in it.”
England last month blasted ball-tampering allegations against them as a “beat-up” after footage of England bowler James Anderson working the ball with his thumbnail drew suspicions during their Ashes test match in Melbourne.
England coach Trevor Bayliss slammed the accusations after former Australian test players Shane Warne and Michael Slater suggested it was not allowed.
“It’s a beat-up. As soon as I saw the headlines I raced into the umpires and that was their words: ‘Nothing to worry about, it was a beat-up, absolutely fine’,” Bayliss said at the time.
England sealed the five-match ODI series in Sydney Sunday when a stunning century from Jos Buttler helped the visitors to a unbeatable 3-0 lead — a remarkable turnaround after Australia had trounced them 4-0 in the Ashes Tests.