ICC U19 WC: Astonishing bowling, Aussie cricket finds new Shane Warne

[caption id="attachment_62025" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Ausstrlian U19 team congratulating Lloyd Pope Ausstrlian U19 team congratulating Lloyd Pope[/caption]

Internet Desk: Australia got their new star who picked eight important wickets to defeat England in the Under 19 World Cup in Tuesday. Lloyed Pope bowled like Aussie legend Shane Warne. English bowlers restricted Australia for just 127 runs in 33.3 overs. Lloyd the 18-years – old leg spinner did his job brilliantly as he grabbed eight wickets and gave just 35 runs in his 9.4 overs.

After Australia had been bowled out for 127 in just 33.3 overs in their quarter-final clash against England in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup on Tuesday, it needed a special effort with the ball for them to get into the semi-finals. Lloyd Pope, the 18-year-old leg-spinner, was the man for the job on the day.

Handed the ball in the sixth over of England’s innings by Jason Sangha, his captain, Pope struck in his second over, off consecutive balls, and then kept picking up wickets, reducing England from 47 for no loss to 79 for five in next to no time. Sangha didn’t take him off, and Pope went through his entire spell in one go, picking up three more wickets to finish with 9.4-2-35-8, the best returns in the Under-19 World Cup over the years, as England were stopped at 96.
"Sang put me on pretty early; bowling in the Power Play, which I haven’t done too much of in this carnival. It’s something I am comfortable with. It’s something I’ve been practicing a little bit. We didn’t ever really think about we’re falling behind or anything like that. We were always up and about. We always thought we could win," said Pope after leading his side to a 31-run victory at Queenstown Events Centre.

"I think it’s normal to me, but obviously a big stage, it’s a quarter-final, means everything to play for your country and to get into the semi-final, it’s an unreal feeling really.
Being handed the ball so early and with so few runs to defend wasn’t an issue, said Pope.
"I like putting myself in pressure scenarios, I feel like I bowl better under pressure. To be able to stand up for my country and stuff has been really good. Sang throws me the ball, it’s nice to, gives me a little bit of confidence that my captain is looking to advance the game and put me in there early and has the faith in me to land the ball straightaway and take some wickets. I love those scenarios in the game and yeah, it’s cricket really, it’s fun.

"I’ve always had high expectations of myself. I always try to take wickets and focus on those areas of my game, but I’ve definitely still got work to do, my fielding and my batting as well, I’ve definitely got to improve. So yeah, it’s nice to get a reward today but I’ll still drive to take more wickets in the World Cup and hope we can win the semis and get into the grand final and take the trophy home.
Pope got wickets with his stock delivery, the leg-spinner, and also found success with a vicious googly, which completely befuddled Harry Brook, the England captain, Luke Hollman and Ethan Bamber.

"Yeah, it is one of my variation things," said Pope.
"I guess I’ve been working on it to control it as well as my leggies. So not a variation, I guess, more a sort of second delivery for me and yeah, nice that it came out well today. It’s nice that the plan worked off, it paid off that time (Brook dismissal).

"Yeah, it came out of my hand pretty nicely. Watched it go down in the air and I felt pretty good about it. It’s a good feeling to see a plan work out. Little bit of trying to rush the batsmen and trying to get them to play different shots and things. I feel if you’re bowling the same pace and the same ball in one-day cricket it gets a little bit predictable and then you start going for runs from there. So yeah, changing things up."

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If an Australian leg-spinner does well, comparisons with Shane Warne are inevitable. It’s something Pope has to deal with for a while, and he did it well on this occasion.

"I tend not to really compare myself to him. Obviously he’s a player from the past sort of thing. It’s sort of nice to look back and see how he’s bowling stuff and he’s sort of been there and done that. Learning tool for me, I guess, watching him bowl in Test cricket and things. I realise that I have to put my red-ball cricket up to where his is, obviously, that’s the aspiration for any leg-spinner, probably. Yeah, it’s nice to have him go through the radial. Comparisons, I don’t really think about them too much,” said Pope, who called Warne “a huge influence on cricket and certainly my bowling as well."

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Returning to the wrong ’un, Pope went on, "Everyone’s always been pretty supportive of my wrong ’uns. I have always played cricket for fun and in the nets, experimenting with different things is what’s been enjoyable to me and as long as it’s sort of working in games, I’m going to keep trying to work on that and use all my variations in different ways and different balls and things like that. So yeah, I’ve definitely done a lot of work on it and it is a challenge sometimes in longer-form cricket to get the ratio right and work out different batsmen and such, but in white-ball cricket I can afford to bowl a few more variations. Yeah, it’s fun really, that’s why I play the game."

And there’s the question of the future. On social media, there’s already been a fair bit of talk about taking care of Pope and making sure he goes on to do well for the senior team in the not-too-distance future.

"I tend to not think about the future too heavily,” said the South Australian.
"I like to stay in the moment and the World Cup is probably the main priority at the moment. When I get back, I’d probably like to focus a little bit more on my red-ball cricket. I’ve been playing a lot of white-ball cricket recently so it’d be nice to get the red ball back in my hand. Try and go back to longer-format cricket and bowl a lot of leg breaks and spend a lot of time bowling overs and thinking batsmen out that way. It’s a different type of game and I love it. So it will be nice to go back and play some two-day cricket and hopefully some four-day, five-day cricket as well."

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