India vs England, 2nd Test: Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes of England squad

Saturday, 11 Aug, 2018

England have dropped Dawid Malan for the second Test against India at Lord's and called up Surrey's Ollie Pope in his place.

With the rain never stopping long enough for the toss to take place, both England and India have still to name their starting XI.

It has been a blur for Pope, 20, who got into Surrey's first eleven for first-class games only late last season, and has been prolific for the side, leaders of the championship this season.

Pope has been in brilliant form for County Championship leaders Surrey this season, scoring 684 runs at a huge average of 85.50, including three centuries and a top score of 158 not out. "From the people I've spoken to, they've given me confidence".

England has made only two changes from the squad which was picked for the 1st Test.

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

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.

"I think it's the fearlessness", Pope said. In the end, the target proved too handy as India were eventually bowled out for 397, with Agarkar remaining unbeaten on 109 off 190 balls, including 16 fours as England won the match by 170 runs. "Hopefully we'll get to see some good cricket over the next four days".

"If required, yes", said Pope.

Whatever style of bowling he is asked to confront first-up, Pope said that he doesn't suffer "massively" from nerves and this week he will practise his customary use of visualisation as a technique to overcome them.

VIRAT KOHLI has replaced Steve Smith as the world's best Test batsman, according to the latest International Cricket Council player rankings. "It's not a massive difference, just got to look a bit closer". "I think that every time you turn up here, the surface can be quite different".

In his column for the Times of India, Ganguly wrote, "The first Test of the India-England series was another bright example of why the original version of the game continues to be the ultimate test for any cricketer. When batting at six sometimes I come in the 10th over and sometimes I face the second new ball", he added.