Tuesday, October 19

England’s Ollie Pope to face India after slip discards Zak Crawley | England cricket team

Zak Crawley will miss the first two tests against India after scans showed he sprained his right wrist in what Joe Root described as “a real accident”, slipping on the marble floors of the England dressing room in Chennai as he headed to practice.

After the Crawley accident, England players initially covered the floor with towels to provide some traction while using spikes, a more permanent floor covering has since been installed in an attempt to prevent further injury. Root said: “It’s not something you think about first when you get close to the ground, trying not to slip. Hopefully that will be the last thing and no one else will fall into the same fate. “

After opening batting in Sri Lanka in the absence of Rory Burns, who has since returned to the team following the birth of his first child, Crawley was expected to return to No. 3, from where he played so impressively against Pakistan last summer. . For the opening game, which begins Friday, Dan Lawrence is likely to take that position, with Ollie Pope coming straight to the side after recovering from injury.

Ollie Pope batting against the West Indies during his 91 innings in Test 3 at Old Trafford in July 2020
Ollie Pope batting the West Indies during his 91 innings in Test 3 at Old Trafford in July 2020. Photograph: Michael Steele / PA

Root said: “There are several different combinations that we can go with. I think that’s the exciting part – now we have several guys who can hit different positions. I think everything is on the table when it comes to the selection, we will weigh everything when we hit the ground, we will observe the conditions, we will look at the surface again and we will try to have a real clarity in the game.

The recent success of the India series in Australia, achieved despite a series of injuries to veteran players, has shown that such setbacks do not have to be decisive. “I think a lot of parties will watch that series and get a great deal of confidence,” Root said. “Great credit to India for going there and winning. The teams will see that it is possible to go and win away from home, and there is a lot of pressure on the host teams.

“We must accept the challenge, we must be enthusiastic. There are so many opportunities that come with that, as a team and as individual players, when you have the opportunity to play, you just have to maximize that opportunity. One thing we’ve had in the recent past is that competition for places, a little more depth within our team and not such a strong reliance on certain people, as might have been the case a few years ago. These are really exciting times and the guys have to take these opportunities if they get them. “

Although England came in after having won their last five away events and bolstered by the returns of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes, they both rested for the recent series in Sri Lanka and their captain reported that they are in good shape in practice, the record of India at home is formidable. . They have won 28 of their 34 events in India since England won 2-1 there in 2012, losing a single home game to Australia four years ago.

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“After those two games in Sri Lanka, we have gained a great deal of confidence,” said Root. “We are very realistic about where we are as a team, how we are slowly improving over a period of time. We know this is going to be a big challenge for us, but we are enjoying that challenge, we look forward to it. We have to focus on what we think will be the best way to win here and try to execute it as well as possible. You want to play against the best teams in the world, you want to do well under their own conditions and it is a great opportunity for the group ”.


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