England have made two changes to the squad for the second Test against India at Lord’s, despite clinching a dramatic victory in the first Test on Saturday.
Surrey’s middle-order batsman Ollie Pope replaces Middlesex’s Dawid Malan, who made just 28 runs in the first Test and spilled multiple chances in the cordon.
Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes also returns to the squad in place of Durham’s Ben Stokes, who was ruled out due to an impending court hearing in Bristol this week.
Pope has been in exceptional form in county cricket for Surrey, who lead the County Championship Division One. The talented 20-year-old has amassed 684 runs in the Championship this season, at an average of 85.50, and has three centuries to his name.
Wisden.com included Pope in our list of right-handed batsmen who could come into contention, after Ravi Ashwin found joy against England’s plethora of left-handers in the first Test. Five of England’s top eight in the first Test were lefties.
Pope has been a regular in the Young Lions squads during 2016-17 and played for England Lions against India A last month, where he scored 50 not out in a 253-run victory.
“Ollie Pope has made an exceptional start to his first-class career,” said England’s national selector Ed Smith, who has made some bold decisions in his brief stint, including the Test recalls of chiefly white-ball exponents Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid.
“He has reached 1,000 first-class runs in just 15 matches and is the first division’s stand-out batsman this season with 684 runs at 85. The selection panel believe that Ollie’s performances and character suggest he is well suited to international cricket.”
Smith, who played three Test matches for England, added: “Dawid Malan drops out of the squad for Lord’s. Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions.
“Ben Stokes is unavailable, but Chris Woakes, with some extra matches and practices under his belt, can now return to the England squad after injury.”
England squad for 2nd Test:
Joe Root (Yorkshire, captain)
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire) wicketkeeper
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Keaton Jennings (Lancashire)
Ollie Pope (Surrey)