England wield the axe with Dawid Malan dropped for second Test and 20-year-old Ollie Pope called up

Young Surrey batsman joins teammate Sam Curran in the squad, while Ben Stokes drops out ahead of his trial in Bristol that clashes with the second Test at Lord’s

Chris Stocks@StocksC_cricket
Sunday 05 August 2018 11:44
Dawid Malan has been dropped after struggling with the bat and dropping three catches in the first Test
Dawid Malan has been dropped after struggling with the bat and dropping three catches in the first Test

England have wielded the axe for this week’s second Test against India at Lord’s, dropping Dawid Malan and calling up 20-year-old Surrey batsman Ollie Pope.

There is also a recall for fit-again bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes, who comes into the 13-man squad for Ben Stokes, who is unavailable for Lord’s as it clashes with his trial on a charge of affray in Bristol that starts on Monday.

Moeen Ali and Jamie Porter, who did not play but were in the squad for England’s 31-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston, are also retained.

However, it the decision to replace the out-of-form Malan, who made just 28 runs in the first Test and dropped three catches, with Pope that is the most eye-catching selection.

The youngster only made his first-class debut in March of last year but has been in sensational form for Surrey this summer, averaging 85 in the County Championship and also hitting a match-winning unbeaten half-century for England Lions against India A at Worcester last month.

Pope saw off the challenge of Worcestershire’s Joe Clarke, who had trained with England at Edgbaston last week.

20-year-old Ollie Pope is handed his first England call-up for the second Test against India

It the latest bold pick by new national selector Ed Smith, whose decisions to call on Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid and Sam Curran, also 20 and a team-mate of Pope’s at Surrey, have all proved inspired.

Malan had an encouraging Ashes series in Australia last winter, where he hit his maiden century and averaged 42. But his predominantly back-foot technique has been exposed in English conditions, in which he averages just 20 in Tests, and Smith has inferred he is likely only to now be considered for overseas tours if at all. “Dawid Malan drops out of the squad for Lord’s,” said Smith. “Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions.”

Ben Stokes will miss the second Test due to his court hearing in Bristol (Getty )

On Pope, Smith added: “Ollie has made an exceptional start to his first-class career. He has reached a 1,000 first class runs in just 15 matches and is the first division’s stand-out batsman this season with 684 runs at 85. The selection panel believe that Ollie’s performances and character suggest he is well suited to international cricket.

“Ben Stokes is unavailable, but Chris Woakes, with some extra matches and practices under his belt, can now return to the England squad after injury.”

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