Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

India vs England: Ben Stokes wishes England newcomer Ollie Pope well

India vs England: Ben Stokes wishes England newcomer Ollie Pope well

Pope will use the example set by county team mate Sam Curran who shone in last week's first match of the series, his second test appearance, with a five-wicket haul in India's first innings and a crucial half century in England's second.

It has now replaced Stokes with fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Woakes, who missed out on a Test at his Warwickshire home ground because of concerns he had not then bowled enough overs following a return from a knee injury. His exceptional performance made selection panel to select him over Dawid Malan for the second test.

But nothing fazes 20-year-old Ollie Pope who says he is already "in the zone" thanks to some visualisation techniques. While Malan had a poor outing in the 1st Test, Ben Stokes was dropped due to his court case hearing after been involved in a fight outside a bar in Bristol past year. The selection panel believes that Ollie's performances and character suggest he is well suited to worldwide cricket.

England have dropped out-of-form Dawid Malan and replaced him with uncapped 20-year-old batsman Ollie Pope in their 13-man squad to face India at Lord's this week. He described Pope as the "standout batsman" in Division One. He has scored only two 30+ scores in 12 innings and has an average of 27.84 after 15 Tests.

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Twenty-year-old Pope, who replaces Dawid Malan, is now the second highest run-scorer in County Championship Division One, with 684 runs at an average of 85.50. He has 684 runs in Division One of the County Championship at an average of 85.50, with three centuries (a highest of 158 not out) and one fifty. "Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions", he said.

"I've played with him since we were 14, 15 - as soon as he came over from Zim (Zimbabwe) - and we've gone through the same path". The young Surrey opener will be making his debut in Lords Test after the announcement was made by skipper Joe Root in a pre-match conference on Wednesday.

He also wished Pope for his maiden appearance in Test cricket. "You need to know what balls coming down at you - you can't just premeditate an off-spinner like him", he said, about the prospect of facing Ashwin. So I think it was a pretty invaluable experience.

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