Ollie Pope to bat at four for England in second Test against India

Ollie Pope - will make England debut
Ollie Pope - will make England debut

England captain Joe Root believes batting at four could be "quite a jump" for Ollie Pope but is confident the Surrey youngster will rise to the challenge in the second Test against India.

Pope has never batted in the top five in the Specsavers County Championship but will make his Test debut at Lord's as a direct replacement for Middlesex left-hander Dawid Malan.

The 20-year-old has played only 15 first-class matches in his fledgling career but his 684 championship runs at an average of 85.5 this season thrust him into England contention.

Root confirmed Pope's inclusion in the XI and said Essex seamer Jamie Porter would miss out.

However, conditions on Thursday morning will dictate whether spinner Moeen Ali or seamer Chris Woakes is drafted in to replace Ben Stokes, absent this week because of his ongoing court case in Bristol.

"We've got a 12. Jamie Porter is the unlucky one to miss out," Root said. "With the surface as it is, having looked at it today, we're going to leave it another 24 hours and then make a decision in the morning.

"Ollie will come in and bat at four. He's obviously batted at six for Surrey this season - but having seen him play a little bit, and the way his game is set up, I think it's very much transferable to bat at number four in Test cricket.

"I know that might be seen as quite a big jump. But he's obviously an exciting talent and, with the guys around him, I think he fits nicely into that position in our team."

Root spoke in glowing terms of a batsman who last winter was commended in a New South Wales parliamentary speech after a successful stint with Campbelltown-Camden in Sydney grade cricket.

"He's very mature for a young man," Root said.

"I can see that he thinks about the game a lot and has a very good understanding of where he's at within his own game - which is a really good sign in a young man, coming into this environment. I hope that will stand him in really good stead."

Above all, though, Root hopes the youngster can replicate the form he has shown for Surrey this year as England look to build on last week's thrilling 31-run victory over India at Edgbaston.

"I think he's performed exceptionally well this season in County Championship cricket," Root added.

"He's played some very important knocks under pressure for Surrey, and he's got a very good all-round game. That's a very exciting prospect for such a young man, to have the ability to play in that manner.

"I'm looking forward to him, more than anything, just going out there and being himself - and playing exactly as he has done throughout this summer."

Related cricket links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

1

Daily Nap: Alainn the ace

David Ord hopes a well-handicapped mare is capable of successfully conceding weight to all her rivals at Chepstow on Friday.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages2

Paper Talk: Rashford's big pay day

Marcus Rashford is set to see his wages double with a new Manchester United deal as Gonzalo Higuain jets in for Chelsea move.

Check out our latest daily racing preview3

Friday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Shamshon her best bet on Friday and she has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package4

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Check out this weekend's Sporting Life Accumulator
5

Sporting Life Accumulator

Our Sporting Life Accumulator for Saturday's football involves four EFL teams, enhanced to 18/1 with Sky Bet.

Most Read

1

Daily Nap: Alainn the ace

David Ord hopes a well-handicapped mare is capable of successfully conceding weight to all her rivals at Chepstow on Friday.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages2

Paper Talk: Rashford's big pay day

Marcus Rashford is set to see his wages double with a new Manchester United deal as Gonzalo Higuain jets in for Chelsea move.

Check out our latest daily racing preview3

Friday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Shamshon her best bet on Friday and she has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package4

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Check out this weekend's Sporting Life Accumulator
5

Sporting Life Accumulator

Our Sporting Life Accumulator for Saturday's football involves four EFL teams, enhanced to 18/1 with Sky Bet.

Racing Tips

Daily Nap: Alainn the ace

David Ord hopes a well-handicapped mare is capable of successfully conceding weight to all her rivals at Chepstow on Friday.

Check out our latest daily racing preview

Friday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Shamshon her best bet on Friday and she has a tip for every race.

Get all the latest whispers from the major training centres

Catching Pigeons: Seddon done

Our gallops insider has all the latest tips and well-fancied weekend runners including Seddon in the valuable handicap hurdle at Ascot.

Next Race Off

15:22 Mauquenchy
3
(0)
Embleme Royal
J: Guillaume Martin
16
(0)
Eclat De Mahey
J: F Lecanu
9
(0)
Edjo Du Mont
J: D Thomain

Football Tips

Check out this weekend's Sporting Life Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

Our Sporting Life Accumulator for Saturday's football involves four EFL teams, enhanced to 18/1 with Sky Bet.

Our best bets for Norwich v Birmingham

Expect fireworks at Carrow Road

With 6/1, 9/1 and 11/1 winners among others in 2019 already, Tom Carnduff picks out three best bets for Friday night's game.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.