Monday, 20 August, 2018

Joe Root tells England to focus after Virat Kohli was dropped twice

Ben Stokes misses the second Test against India because of a court case Ben Stokes misses the second Test against India because of a court case
Kristopher Love | 09 August, 2018, 14:55

Fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes has been called up in his place to the England squad, with uncapped Surrey batsman Ollie Pope selected instead of Dawid Malan, dropped after a run of low scores.

England: Joe Root (c), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Butter, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Meanwhile, after a poor show in the opening Test match against England, the Indian batsmen would like to rectify their mistakes and apply themselves diligently when India will face the hosts in the second match of the five-match series, starting on Thursday.

Malan was replaced by 20-year-old Ollie Pope, who is set to make his debut.

Neither side made 300 in the match, England posting 287 before India replied with 274 in the first innings.

"And in the first innings, to create two half-chances and two clear chances was testament to how we've got good plans against him and found a way to potentially get him out".

"I think it's sometimes easy to criticise the batting group but I thought the way both seaming groups in particular bowled was outstanding".

Pope, who is just 20, will slot in at number four for England, as a direct replacement for Dawid Malan, despite not batting there for his county Surrey - a decision that has anxious some, but not Root.

Essex's Jamie Porter, named in the squad for each of the first two Tests, has been released once again.

That said, given the nature of the pitch at Lord's and England spin troubles, the visitors might play Kuldeep Yadav alongside Ashwin. England have not lost a five-Test series at home after winning the first Test since 1930, such is the momentum they can build up with batteries of fast-medium bowlers. "As far as wickets falling in heap is concerned, it is not about technique, it is more of a mental aspect", Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.

On the other end of the scenario, young Ollie Pope made his first class debut in previous year March and has been running a sensational form for Surrey since then, averaging 85 in the County Championship.

"It's a good choice, a tough one too", Bharat Arun, India's bowling coach, told reporters at Lord's.

"Then we need some composure", he added.

But Arun said Jasprit Bumrah was "out of contention", the paceman still sidelined after missing the first Test with the broken thumb he suffered during a T20 worldwide against Ireland in June.

Given India's struggles with the bat at Edgbaston, there is also a fairly strong feeling that they might opt to bring in Cheteshwar Pujara to strengthen their lineup replacing Shikhar Dhawan or perhaps even Hardik Pandya - a suggestion given more credence by the long net session that Pujara has undergone both on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The conditions were trying".