England's Malan dropped for second Test as Pope and Woakes come in

Cricket | Steve James August 3 2018 5:00pm The Times Too many left-handers? No — just too few other options Steve James

Cricket | Steve James August 3 2018 5:00pm The Times Too many left-handers? No — just too few other options Steve James

England, 1-0 up in the five-match series after an absorbing 31-run win at Edgbaston last week, will hand a debut to Surrey batsman Ollie Pope with the 20-year-old replacing the out-of-form Dawid Malan.

He has been replaced by Ollie Pope, another 20-year-old who would be looking to make an impact like Sam Curran did.

Rookie batsman Ollie Pope is confident he can follow Surrey team-mate Sam Curran's lead and make a smooth transition to the Test arena. While his domestic form caught the eye, as well as regular performances in the Young Lions squads during 2016/17, the England management were struck by his maturity during the two matches he played in the North-South series in pre-season, scoring 110 runs across both innings.

Fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes came into the side in Stokes's absence, with off-spinner Moeen Ali dropped from a squad where uncapped Essex pace bowler Jamie Porter had already been released.

The forecast for the rest of the Test is favourable - and after the washout, 98 overs will be scheduled on each remaining day, with no adjustment to the scheduled start time of 11am but extra time allocated instead in extended second and third sessions.

Play was called off for the day without a ball being bowled in the second cricket test match between England and India at Lord's August 9.

But Pope showed he was much more than a white-ball marauder last year with a maiden Championship century against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, building on it this year with 684 runs at 85 a time, including three more centuries and playing a crucial role in Surrey's ascent to the top of Division One by 34 points.

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"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".

Pope, asked if he would be ready to bat at No 4, replied: "If required, yes". I've got the confidence in my own game to take the next step.

"I think it's the fearlessness", Pope said.

"When I bat at six I can be in in the 10th over or for the second new ball. I hope Ollie Pope plays as he has done for his county and enjoys his debut".

On Thursday evening, he said: "When a player has been left out there should be clear communication on the way they can improve in order to get back into contention".

"It's not massively different". 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.

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