England Skipper Joe Root confirms the 20-year old Surrey star Ollie Pope’s entry into the playing XI against India in the second Test at the home of cricket, Lord’s. Ollie will make his national debut at number four position in the Team. He is a direct replacement of Middlesex Left-handed batsman Dawid Malan while Malan was dropped after his two back to back low scores in the First Test at Edgbaston last week.
In a pre-match press conference on Wednesday Joe Root said, “Ollie Pope will come in and bat at four, I know that might be seen as quite a big jump, but he’s obviously an exciting talent and, with the guys around him, I think he fits nicely into that position in our team.”
After Pope’s announcement, there are some clouds on Ben Stokes replacement as he will miss the upcoming fixture due to his ongoing court case for Bristol brawl and it is yet to decide whether Spinner Moen Ali or Right-arm-fast-medium Chris Woakes will take his place in the squad. Uncapped Essex speedster Jamie Porter is also dropped from the 13-man squad.
Ollie Pope plays for Surrey, he only made his First-class debut in March 2017, and he has got the maiden call-up to play for England against India in his first appearance. In fact, he has never been given a chance to bat in the top five position for his team in County Championship Cricket. In this season, Pope managed to score 684 runs in the championship for Surrey while playing at lower middle order at an average of 85.5 including three centuries.
Joe Root is very much excited after watching him set up his game for Surrey, and that is the moment when Root decided to take him for the team to play at number four.