Ollie Pope has already made such a major impact as a Test match batsman that even skipper Joe Root is learning from him.

22-year-old Pope was the standout performer among the younger members of the squad scoring his first Test ton and averaging 88 in the three games he played after recovering from illness.

And after watching him manipulate the ball to weird and wonderful areas of the ground, Root has certainly taken note of his exciting new talent.

Never mind the fact that the skipper has scored more than 7,000 more Test runs than Pope, he too continues to learn and try to get better.

Joe Root and Ollie Pope celebrate during the fourth Test

“It’s quite funny,” said Pope. “Rooty was one of my favourite players as I’ve been growing up over the last 10 years – watching him play has been awesome.

“He hit a shot – one of those ramps – and said ‘I learned that one off you!’ That’s a big compliment from one of my favourite players growing up.

“But I learn a lot off him and that’s just the way batting works.”

Pope has earned favourable comparisons with Ian Bell with a similar style when he plays certain shots.

He also has that great advantage that Bell had which is time. Time to place the ball where he wants and time to cope with the faster bowlers.

Pope was in inspired form in South Africa

It is why Pope will be a permanent fixture in the England side for years to come as the young guns continue to establish themselves.

And for now the Surrey man is not interested in moving up the order as has been suggested by some outside the dressing room, instead he knows he can continue to make a big impact at six.

“Things have gone even better than I could have imagined,” he added. “ And a few of us are definitely starting to feel established.

“Obviously we’re still young guys and I think that’s what we needed – a few scores under our belts to give you the confidence to know you can do it at this level and doing it in a winning cause makes all the difference as well.

“I love being in the side and wherever I’m told to bat I’ll bat and love it there. But at six I feel like I can offer a lot.

Even Root has been impressed with Pope

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“People can say what they want and I’ll do whatever I’m told because I feel like I’ve got a good enough game to deal with wherever I’ve got to bat. But, yes, for now I’ve loved batting at six.”

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