On Saturday, the English young sensation Ollie Pope’s injury he sustained during the ongoing T20 explosion made him doubtful for the upcoming Test series against India or at least the opening Test. The English Cricket Board (ECB) has excluded him from the five-Test series of any professional cricket. Therefore, David Malan could get into the mix if the 23-year-old does not make the group.
While David Malan equaled his place in England’s T20 series 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 it against South Africa and is averaging 27.84 in 15 games. Malan built up 724 runs and scored one hundred and six-fifties, with a best of 140.
Malan’s last Test was against India during the 2018 series. But the 33-year-old only played in the first Test in Birmingham and was left out for the remaining four games. He scored only 28 runs in that match. However, the potential absence of Pope could mean that the number one T20I batsman returns to the whites for England.
Ollie Pope made his Test debut against India in August 2018 with the Lord; however, it was two years before he was a regular in the series. The Surrey batsman enjoyed the best series in his 19 Test career in South Africa, where he scored 266 runs in three Tests at 88.67. In the process, Pope crushed a century and two fifties and established his position.
ECB and fitness experts try hard to make Ollie Pope available for first Test against India:
The English Cricket Council (ECB) has said that Ollie Pope will not play any further role in the T20 blast until the Test series, although he has not suffered any serious damage. The board has promised to do their best and work with Surrey medical teams to make the youngster available for the first Test in Nottingham from 4 July.
‘Pope has been ruled out of the English LV = Insurance Test series against India after suffering a left thigh muscle injury. “The fitness teams of the ECB and Surrey will work together to deliver Pope’s rehabilitation, with the focus that he will be available to return for the first Test against India.” Read ECB statement.