England ‘fulfilled’ the wishes of captain Ben Stokes and manager Brendon McCullum on an ‘unbelievable day’ against Pakistan, striker Ollie Pope has claimed.
England became the first team to score 500 on the first day of a Test at the series opener in Rawalpindi.
They closed 506-4 in 75 overs with Pope, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook all making ages.
“We really listened to what Baz [McCullum] and Stokesy said,” Pope said. “It was an amazing day.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: “The best thing is everyone has lived the way the two guys upstairs want us to play.
“They want us to entertain people.
“It’s not about milestones. It’s about putting on a show and putting the team in a good position. The fact that everyone is so happy to join puts us in a really good position. “
The series – England’s first Tests in Pakistan for 17 years – is England’s first overseas assignment since Stokes and McCullum were appointed earlier this year.
Over the summer, the pair instilled a new attacking approach to impressive effect by winning six of seven Tests against New Zealand, India and South Africa.
But by dominating Pakistani bowling on flat ground, they went even further, breaking the previous record for runs made on the first day of a Test – Australia’s 494 against South Africa in 1910.
Opener Crawley’s 122, Pope’s 108 and Brook’s 101 were all better than a run a ball, with Brook hitting triple figures on 80 balls – the third fastest tonne by an England batter.
Duckett’s 107 came from 110 balls and was part of a 233-run opening stand with Crawley in 35.4 overs.
The Nottinghamshire southpaw was playing his first run since being recalled to the Test team after a six-year absence.
He said he was inspired to take a more aggressive approach in domestic cricket after watching England earlier in the year.
“The real change was watching this team at the start of the summer,” he said. “I started playing again with more freedom.
“I don’t think there will ever be a better environment to get involved in.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of cricketers desperate to be in this dressing room and I was one of them last summer. They allow you to play your game and play freely. .”
Former Sri Lankan batter Kumar Sangakkara said the performance was “fantastic for English cricket and fantastic for the game of the world”.
“England’s traditional perspective has changed,” he told Sky Sports.
“Cricket has a new landscape and there is an opportunity for a new type of player to move on to shorter versions in the red ball format, not as has been done traditionally.”