India vs England: Uncapped Ollie Pope replaces Dawid Malan for Lord's Test

Florence Fletcher
August 11, 2018

England national selector Ed Smith, who dropped left-handed batsman Dawid Malan from the second Test of the ongoing five-match series against India, has justified his action by saying that the batter's game is more suited for the overseas conditions.

Assuming Pope makes the side, he will need all his qualities, not least if England send him in at number four, given he bats two places lower for Surrey.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Tendulkar maintained age should not be a criteria in selecting players such as Pope or England's other 20-year-old tearaway, Sam Curran. Pope has scored 684 runs at an average of 85.50 with three centuries this season and played for England Lions in the win over India A last month.

"Dawid Malan drops out of the squad for Lord's".

England coach Trevor Bayliss believes Sam Curran's competitive attitude will serve him well as the all-rounder looks to build on his first-Test heroics against India.

Malan's Test record is modest at best, as he averages just 27 as a top order batsman in the 15 Test matches he has played with a solitary century to his credit.

Rain meant there was no play before lunch on the first day of the second Test between England and India at Lord's on Thursday.

"I'm sure that they'll be going away working out how they can play it - as we're going working on how to play the off-spin".

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"It will be interesting to see who can step up and take his place".

Pope, who can keep wicket, is in the Test frame as a specialist batsman on the back of his outstanding county form this summer.

Realistically, England have to decide whether to play two spinners at Lord's, where they expect the pitch to be dry, and if they do so, whether Moeen should play instead of a batsman (Pope) or instead of the fourth seamer (who is probably Woakes).

"If required (to bat at four), yes", Pope said.

"I've had a good season so far". I read an article or two that I was tagged in on Twitter, clicked out of curiosity. I called my parents for a quick chat, they were buzzing.

"I have been visualising it since I had the call really", he said.

"When I bat at six some games I've been in in the 10th over, other games I've come in for the second new ball". A lot of the players like to stand in the middle and imagine this bowler is running up to you and I'll be doing the same thing tomorrow and before the game if picked.

"Obviously it's a bit different when you're playing, it will pretty special walking out there if I get the nod".

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