On Saturday, England young sensation Ollie Pope’s injury suffered during the ongoing T20 blast rendered him doubtful for the upcoming Test series against India or at least the opening Test. England Cricket Board (ECB) ruled him out of any professional cricket until the five-Test series. Hence, Dawid Malan could come into the mix if the 23-year old does not make it into the squad.
While Dawid Malan has etched his spot in England’s T20 line-up and scored a fifty in the first One-day international against Pakistan in Cardiff, he has not played Test cricket since August 2018. The left-handed batsman made his Test debut a year before that against South Africa and averages 27.84 in 15 matches. Malan accumulated 724 runs, scoring a hundred and six fifties, with a best of 140.
Notably, Malan’s last Test was against India during the 2018 series. But the 33-year old played only in the first Test in Birmingham and was left out for the remaining four games. He managed only 28 runs in that match. However, Pope’s potential absence could see the number one T20I batsman return to the whites for England.
Ollie Pope made his Test debut against India in August 2018 at the Lord’s; however, it was two years before becoming a regular fixture in the line-up. The Surrey batsman enjoyed the best series in his 19-Test career in South Africa, where he mustered 266 runs in three Tests at 88.67. Pope smashed a century and two fifties in the process and established his position.
ECB and fitness experts trying hard to make Ollie Pope available for the first Test against India:
England Cricket Board (ECB) stated that Ollie Pope will play no further part in the T20 blast until the Test series even though he has not suffered any serious damage. The board promised to do their best and work with Surrey medical teams to ensure the youngster’s availability for the first Test in Nottingham from the 4th of July.
“Pope has been ruled out until England’s LV= Insurance Test Series against India after suffering a left thigh muscle injury. The ECB and Surrey fitness teams will work together to deliver Pope’s rehabilitation with a focus for him to be available to return for the first Test against India,” ECB’s statement read.