The England national cricket selectors have announced a 13-man squad for the 2nd Test against India at Lord's where the Three Lions have made two changes as pacer Chris Woakes comes in place of all-rounder Ben Stokes and Surrey batsman Ollie Pope replaces Dawid Malan. The Joe Root side go 1-0 up in the five-match rubber.
Stokes, who starred in the Birmingham Test, misses out on the second match as he has to face charges of affray at Bristol Crown Court. The all-rounder was involved in a brawl last year which saw him relieved of his vice-captaincy role. Pacer Woakes, who returns from injury, fills in for Stokes at Lord's.
20-year old Pope comes in place for Malan, who has had a dreadful start so far with the bat and on field. Malan dropped plenty of catches which could have changed the outcome of the match several times.
Pope, a middle-order batsman for Surrey, has had a stellar start to the 2018 season and has been a driving force for the team with his knocks in first-class cricket. The batsman-wicketkeeper has played 15 first class matches where he amassed 1012 runs and has a highest score of an unbeaten 158.
He has smashed four tons and three half-centuries for Surrey so far.
National Selector Ed Smith commented on bringing in Pope and Woakes in for the 2nd Test.
“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.
“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 beat India by 31 runs in the first Test at Birmingham after a collapse in the Indian batting line-up saw the hosts win comfortably despite Kohli reducing the margin with his 17th fifty.
England Squad for Lord's: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes