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Cricket-Pope tips Crawley to make his mark in Ashes series

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LONDON (Reuters) – Consistency may not be Zak Crawley’s biggest strength but England vice captain Ollie Pope has no doubt the opener would make his mark in the Ashes series against Australia this month.

Crawley has a test average of 28.26 but appears to enjoy the backing of his team management, which values his match-winning ability more than his output.

Pope reckoned the 25-year-old had it in him to blast a run-a-ball hundred against Australia’s fiery attack.

“The player that Zak is, he could have a tough first game, have a tough first innings of a second game and then go and blast a hundred off a hundred,” Pope told British media.

“That’s the exciting thing about Zak as a player – you know he can take the game and, in the space of a session, set the tone or break the back of a run-chase.”

Crawley has managed three hundreds in 34 tests but Pope said the Kent player’s cameos tended to go unnoticed.

“We chat about it openly and he wouldn’t mind me saying – there have been times when he hasn’t scored the weight of runs that he has wanted,” Pope said.

“But there have also been times where he has played some knocks that have gone under the radar.

“He’s scored his three hundreds (in his career) but he’s also had a lot of big knocks at the top of the order.”

The five-test series begins in Edgbaston on Friday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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