England's Ollie Pope (left) in action during the third day of the first Test match against India at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Hyderabad: India coach Rahul Dravid on Sunday said Ollie Pope’s counter attack and reverse sweeps against world-class spinners was key to England’s victory in the opening Test.

Pope struck 196 to set up a famous 28-run win for England on the fourth day in Hyderabad as the tourists took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Pope’s marathon knock led England’s bounce back from 190 behind at the start of their second innings as he blunted the Indian spin attack led by Ravichandran Ashwin.

“I certainly haven’t seen it being done that consistently,” Dravid said of Pope’s regular use of the unconventional reverse sweep.

“I think the sweep is something that we’ve seen people employ in the past. But to be able to play a reverse sweep that consistently and that successfully for that long, you know, hats off and credit to him,” said Dravid.

“I just want to shake his hand and say, incredibly well done, it was an exceptional innings.”

World class spinners

The Indian batting great said he expected the home team’s spinners to adjust.

“We have just got to get more disciplined with where we pitch the ball and we will get better at it.

We have got some world class spinners. It’s not that the first time they’ve been challenged.

“One of the good things about our spinners is that they’ve always bounced back.”

Pope, who was playing his first Test after returning from a shoulder surgery, was named man of the match after he steered England to 420 all out on the fourth morning to set India a victory target of 231.

“I think we are facing very skilled bowlers,” Pope told reporters.

“You can pretty much know where each ball is going to land and if you try to defend each one there’s probably more chance to get out than if you play a cross-bat shot.”

“We practise those shots enough and if you get out for one playing a reverse sweep you’re not going to get a load of chat in the changing room. You can go and commit to it.”

Failed on good starts

India posted 436 in their first innings in response to England 246 but three of the home batsmen fell in the 80s including top-scorer Ravindra Jadeja on 87.

Dravid said the team fell short of runs in their first innings.

“I think conditions were pretty good to bat on day two. I thought in those kinds of situations, we got ourselves into some good starts but we did not truly capitalise,” said Dravid. “We did not get a hundred.”

The second Test starts Friday in Visakhapatnam.