India Vs England 2nd Test: Stokes wishes England newcomer Pope well

"I hope Ollie Pope plays as he has done for his county and enjoys his debut".

Both Moeen Ali and James Porter, who were released for their respective county teams after not being included in the playing XI at Edgbaston, have been retained.

England have outstretched the selection for this week's match at Lord's against India to 20 year old Surrey batsman Ollie Pope, axing the struggling Dawid Malan.

He is the same age as Surrey team-mate Sam Curran, who was England's man of the match in the thrilling 31-run win at Edgbaston. He has always been in the reckoning for a Test debut too, and was in England's Ashes squad last winter, but at the age of 25 it seems the ex-Essex wicketkeeper is about to see Pope get there before him.

Assuming Pope makes the side, he will need all his qualities, not least if England send him in at number four, given he bats two places lower for Surrey.

Dawid Malan has managed just 74 runs in five innings this season.

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. When I made my Surrey debut, there were four 19-year-olds in there at the same time. Before his call-up on Sunday morning, a mere 2,000 Twitter followers - and a few more on Instagram - were keeping up to date with his news. "It's nice to know that what we're doing is the right thing, it's just about taking those opportunities when they come along", said Root, ahead of the Lord's Test starting today.

"If required, yes", said Pope. I was game ready from the start, I found a bit of form and my method for now.

"It's not massively different". He was very bad in all departments and Ollie Pope from Surrey was drafted in place of him.

"Against South Africa past year, there was quite a lot of spin that came into play and when we played India here previously, spin came into it in the second innings".

Fearless of reputation, at the prospect of batting at No.4 when the opposition incumbent is Virat Kohli, of the idea of walking out at the Home of Cricket on the first day of a Test match against India.

Vanessa Coleman

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