England won the first Test of the five-match series against India at Birmingham by 31 runs. Thanks to the all-around performance of Sam Curran and four wickets from Ben Stokes in the second innings, England defended a target of 194 runs.
However, despite the win, England team management didn’t overlook the dismal performance of one of their top order batsman. Dawid Malan had a dismal test overall with bat and in the field. He first gave a reprieve to Virat Kohli, who went on to make 149 runs in the first innings and then was dismissed for 8 and 20 in the two innings.
This has led England to drop him and call young Ollie Pope of Surrey to replace him. The 20-year-old has 684 runs in Division One of the County Championship at an average of 85.50, with three centuries (a highest of 158 not out) and one fifty.
National selector Ed Smith had this to say: "Ollie Pope has made an exceptional start to his first-class career. He has reached a 1,000 first-class runs in just 15 matches and is the first division's stand-out batsman this season with 684 runs at 85. The selection panel believes that Ollie's performances and character suggest he is well suited to international cricket."
Pope also scored 50 for England Lions in their four-day win against India A by 253 runs at the end of July, at New Road. "Dawid Malan drops out of the squad for Lord's," said Smith. "Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions."
On the other hand, Chris Woakes returns in the England team to replace Ben Stokes, who will miss the Lord’s Test due to him facing a charge of affray at Bristol Crown Court.
England squad for the Lord’s Test:
Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes
(with inputs from Cricbuzz.com)