Rookie batsman Ollie Pope will make his debut against India in the second Test of the ongoing five-match series starting Thursday at Lord’s. England captain Joe Root on Wednesday announced the 12-man squad for the Lord’s Test and said that Pope, who plays for Surrey, will receive his first cap batting at No. 4, replacing Dawid Malan from the side that won the first Test by 31 runs at Edgbaston.Also Read - Ind vs NZ, T20 WC: Aakash Chopra Predicts Changes in The Virat Kohli-Led Side Following Loss vs Pakistan
Indian skipper Virat Kohli also said that it was a great moment for the 20-year-old. While speaking on the eve of the Test match, Kohli said Pope should just look to enjoy the occasion. He further asked him, though sarcastically, not to score too many runs in the match. Also Read - India's Predicted Playing XI vs New Zealand, T20 WC Super 12: Ishan Kishan For Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur For Bhuvneshwar Kumar; 2 Changes Likely
“I can just say it’s a big moment for him. Obviously, I haven’t seen him bat or how he goes about things. But I am sure if he is selected to play for England in Test cricket, he is supposed to be very good. It’s going to be a big occasion for him,” Kohli said. Also Read - T20 World Cup: Babar Azam's Stirring Dressing Room Speech Has the Potential to Mark the Beginning of a New Era in Pakistan Cricket l Watch Video
“I would just say enjoy the occasion, but don’t get too many runs (against India),” he added.
Pope has had a stellar domestic season as he scored 684 runs at average 85.50 and is the second highest run-scorer in the County championship this summer. Additionally, he is also right-handed which is seen as a tactic to contend with Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who picked up seven wickets at Edgbaston.
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Seamer Jamie Porter misses out from the initial 13-man squad, while one among Moeen Ali or Chris Woakes will replace Ben Stokes, who will miss the second Test due to the ongoing hearing in the Bristol nightclub brawl case.
India have fond memories at Lord’s as they won the last Test they played at the Home of Cricket. When they toured the venue in 2014, India was able to get the better of their hosts as Ishant Sharma rolled over England in the second innings and leading India to a 95-run win.
England 12-man squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (w), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes.
India squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.