London, Aug 5 (IANS) England on Sunday brought in young batsman Ollie Pope and all-rounder Chris Woakes in their squad for the second cricket Test against India at Lords, which commences on August 9.
While Surrey’s 20-year-old middle-order batsman Ollie Pope replaces Middlesex’s Dawid Malan, Warwickshire’s Woakes returns in place of Durham’s Ben Stokes, who faces a court hearing this week in Bristol, according to a release.
Right-handed batsman Pope has been in excellent form for Surrey as they lead the Specsavers County Championship Division One. Since the start of the season, he has scored 684 runs in the Championship, at an average of 85.50, which includes three centuries and a top score of 158 not out.
He was also a regular in the English developmental squads during 2016-17 and played for the Lions in their first-class fixture against India A last month where he scored 50 not out in a 253 runs victory at Blackfinch New Road, Worcester.
“Ollie Pope has made an exceptional start to his first class career. He has reached a 1000 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 believes that Ollie’s performances and character suggest he is well suited to international cricket,” ECB National Selector Ed Smith said in a statement.
Pope comes in place of Malan, who managed to score 28 runs combining two innings in Birmingham Test. “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,” he said.
Stokes, who picked four wickets during India’s second innings, is trying to clear his name in court after being charged with affray following a brawl in September 2017.
Smith said that Woakes has fully recovered from a recent injury. “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,” he said.