England have included Chris Woakes in place of Ben Stokes for the second Test at Lord’s starting on Thursday. Stokes, who played a major role in defeating India by 31 runs in the first test, has to appear for a hearing in Bristol court on Monday and the hearing is likely to go on for a week. Woakes, meanwhile, is returning from an injury and might take Stokes’ place in the playing XI.
Meanwhile, underperforming middle-order batsman Dawid Malan has also been dropped and Ollie Pope has come in his place. Pope is a right-hander who plays for Surrey and in 15 first-class matches he has scored 1,012 runs at an average of 62.25. While Pope’s form has been terrific in the domestic circuit, Malan had failed to impress in the first Test. While he scored only eight and 20 in the opening Test, he had a nightmarish time in the slips as he dropped Virat Kohli twice on 21 and 51 in India’s first innings and Murali Vijay once in the second essay.
England national selector Ed Smith said that Pope has shown enough maturity and it is the right time to blood the 20-year-old. “Pope has made an exceptional start to his first class career... The selection panel believes that Pope's performances and character suggest he is well suited to international cricket… Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions,” Smith said.
Woakes, on the other hand, seems to have recovered from a right-knee injury. The bowling all-rounder had played three T20s and a first class match in the last fortnight to prove his fitness. “Stokes is unavailable, but Woakes, with some extra matches and practices, can now return to the England squad after injury,” said Smith.
Ishant Sharma fined for animated celebration
Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma was fined 15 per cent of his match fee for his animated celebration after dismissing England batsman Dawid Malan on day three of the first Test. An ICC statement said that Ishant was found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel. The pacer was found to have violated Article 2.1.7 of the code, which relates to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal during an international match”.
“The incident happened during the first session’s play when Sharma celebrated Malan’s dismissal in close proximity to him, an action which in the view of the match officials had the potential to provoke an aggressive reaction from the departing batsman,” the statement added. After the day’s play, Sharma admitted to the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Jeff Crowe of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.
England squad for second Test:
Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes.