England call up Pope, Woakes to replace Malan, Stokes for India test

Silvia Morton
August 10, 2018

He has been replaced by Ollie Pope, another 20-year-old who would be looking to make an impact like Sam Curran did.

Middlesex batsman Malan has been short of runs this summer, with only 74 in five Test innings - after which Smith appears to have indicated an extended absence may be in the offing.

Pope made his Surrey first-team debut in the County Championship in August 2017 against Middlesex at The Oval, in the infamous match that was abandoned after a crossbow was sacked on to the pitch after tea during the final day's play.

The top-order batsman, who has played just 15 first-class matches, would love the chance to prove in London, as Curran did in Birmingham, the old adage that "if you're good enough you're old enough" right. The India captain went on to make 149 in the first innings. He also scored an unbeaten 50 in England Lions' victory over India A last month.

Given Malan's limited footwork and first-class average of 37, however, it is improbable that he has a long-term Test career ahead of him, and it is better to blood the 20-year-old Pope in a position of strength.

Dawid Malan was England's number four then, but, having been dropped after a poor performance at Edgbaston, his role could now be filled by Pope, who bats at six for his county.

Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes.

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".that is the age when you don't see anything and just want to do well".

Surrey's crop of exciting youngsters had already been highlighted by all-rounder Sam Curran - also 20 - whose man-of-the-match performance at Edgbaston had much to do with England going 1-0 up, and the call-up of his county colleague was another indication of director of cricket Alec Stewart's determination to produce not only a successful team, but players fit to move up to worldwide level.

"When I played my first game, I was only 16. The way he played last week, it can give me confidence to know I can do it too".

"He soaks up the information that come his way and for someone so young he understands his game". He has showed this year and last year that he is a consistent run scorer and now he needs to transfer those skills and runs on to a higher level.

"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".

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a concern ... losing plenty of wickets in quick succession", he added.

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