English middle-order batsman Ollie Pope, who had sustained a thigh muscle injury, is doubtful for the first Test against India that starts from August 4. The ECB issued a statement saying that the right-hander has been ruled out until the start of the five-match Test series against India.
England’s batting has been woeful when it comes to red-ball cricket in the last two series. It resulted in series losses against India away and at home against the Black Caps. Ollie Pope, who has been an integral part of the Test side and was expected to feature against India, despite his poor run of late, might not be fit enough to play the first Test in Nottingham. He had sustained a thigh muscle injury whilst featuring for his County side Surrey against Kent in the Vitality Blast on July 2.
The ECB in a statement said that he has been ruled out till the start of the India Test series. They added that he will be under rehab and the focus will be for him to recover before the Test series opener against India.
“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,” stated the ECB in a statement.
The 23-year-old has so far failed to justify the hype around his talent. He averages 31.50 in red-ball cricket after playing 32 innings. This year, he has played six Tests and scored 237 runs at 21.55, with the highest score of 34. His injury might well help Dawid Malan return to the Test side, given how well the left-hander has done both in white-ball and first-class cricket recently. It can also help Dan Lawrence retain his place in the XI despite the return of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.