Pope exudes confidence of playing well, if picked

Dawid Malan has lost his place in the England squad ahead of the second Test

Ben Stokes, who starred in the 1st Test for England will be unavailable for the second Test as he is due before Bristol Crown Court for the start of his alleged affray trial which begins on Monday, June 6.

Pope oozed with confidence on Tuesday as he faced the media, describing his I-was-there moment when Smith called to inform him of his selection for England in what is another fast-track to a national side that is undergoing transformation. He has been replaced by Ollie Pope, another 20-year-old who would be looking to make an impact like Sam Curran did.

"In the four to six region I don't think there's a massive difference in the way you play".

Smith added: 'Dawid has not found his best rhythm this season, and it may be that his game is better suited to overseas conditions'. "I can see that he thinks about the game a lot and has a very good understanding of where he's at within his own game - which is a really good sign in a young man, coming into this environment". He is the first Indian to do so since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011.

"Likewise, if someone told me I was going to make my Championship debut a year ago, I wouldn't have believed them".

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Root also went onto praise the youngster's performance for county side Surrey "I think he's performed exceptionally well this season in County Championship cricket", Root said.

Stokes said "matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene".

"The way (Kohli) played (in the first Test) was high-class stuff. If someone told me I'd be in the squad for the second Test at Lord's at the start of the season, I wouldn't have really believed them", he said.

Given Malan's limited footwork and first-class average of 37, however, it is improbable that he has a long-term Test career ahead of him, and it is better to blood the 20-year-old Pope in a position of strength.

"I'm sure that they'll be going away working out how they can play it - as we're going working on how to play the off-spin".

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He is the fourth player under 21 to represent England in Test cricket this year, following Mason Crane, Dominic Bess and Sam Curran.

Pope, asked if he would be ready to bat at No 4, replied: "If required, yes".

"I got to know the guys a bit better - and also I now know what it's like on the morning of the first Test at Lord's".

So young is Pope that he lists Cook and England skipper Joe Root, two men he will be sharing a dressing-room with at Lord's this week, as childhood heroes.

He said: "It was good to get around the team for the day then".

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