Ollie Pope endures injury, doubtful for first Test against India
England cricket team batter Ollie Pope has been ruled out until the start of the five-match Test series. The middle-order batter suffered a thigh injury while playing for Surrey in a T20 Blast game against Kent Spitfires on July 2. Pope suffered an injury on his left leg. Last month, Pope featured in the England versus New Zealand Test series, which his side lost.
A statement from the ECB said: "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," the statement added.
England versus India Test series starts from August 4 onwards at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The second Test match will be played at Lord's in London, starting August 12. The third Test will start on August 25 at Headingley in Leeds. The fourth match will be played at the Kennington Oval in London, starting September 2. The last Test will start on September 10.
Despite not getting a 35-plus score in his last 15 Test innings, the England management holds Pope as a crucial player in the Test set-up. In 19 Tests, Pope has amassed 882 runs at 31.50. He has managed to hit just one century and five fifties. His last Test fifty came against Pakistan in August 2020.
Dawid Malan showed his class after being drafted into the new 18-member ODI squad in the ongoing series against Pakistan. He hit a sparkling unbeaten half-century against Pakistan in the first ODI. The number one ranked T20I batter could be a valuable addition. He has played 15 Tests, scoring 724 runs at 27.84. His last Test was against India in 2018.
Pope hasn't delivered the goods of late. In his last 15 Test innings, he has managed the best score of 34. His scores read: 7, 9, 3, 34, 28, 22, 12, 1, 12, 29, 15, 22, 20*, 19, 23. In several innings, Pope got a start but couldn't capitalize upon the same. This is a worrying picture given England's batting struggles.