England will hand 20-year-old Surrey batsman Ollie Pope his Test debut against India at Lord’s on Thursday.
The batsman has an impressive first-class record with 1,012 runs in 15 matches since his debut last year.
With Dawid Malan dropped from the team after a string of low scores and multiple dropped chances in the slip cordon at Birmingham, Pope will become the 687th player for England in Tests.
But what about the last five batsmen who were handed Tests caps by England. We take a look at what they did.
Tests: 11, Runs: 526, Avg: 27.68, 50s: 5
Before Pope, Stoneman was the last batsman to win a Test cap for England. He opened the innings with Alastair Cook against the West Indies in Birmingham in 2017. He made just eight in his first outing as Cook smashed a double ton. He didn’t get a chance to bat again in the game as England won by an innings. He was decent without being impressive in the Ashes Down Under last season as he made two fifties in five Tests. Now 31, has been pushed out of the side with England going for the younger Keaton Jennings.
Tests: 5, Runs: 193, Avg: 24.12, 50s: 1
The Essex batsman played his first Test against South Africa at The Oval last year. Batting at one down, Westley scored a fifty in the second innings. But that would be the only half-century of his Test career. Thereafter, the Essex batsman registered five successive single digits scores at home – which included matches against the West Indies – resulting in an abrupt end to the 29-year-old’s Test career.
Tests: 15, Runs: 724, Avg: 27.84, 100s: 1, 50s: 6
One of the more promising batsmen to emerge in England, especially in the temperament department. The 30-year-old Middlesex batter started off well in the middle-order, with his best effort of 140 in the Ashes in Perth in December expected to take him through this season. However, a startling dip in form – which included just one fifty in his last 10 innings – plus dropped chances in the Birmingham Test saw the left-hander omitted from the team for the Lord’s Test.
Tests: 8, Runs: 373, Avg: 24.86, 100s: 1, 50s: 1
The 26-year-old started off with a bang – scoring a century against India in Mumbai. However, he didn’t play in the Ashes Down Under after struggling against the Proteas last year. Following a fifty against India in Chennai in 2016, hasn’t scored a single half-century. Back in the mix as Cook’s opener, scored 42 crucial runs in the first innings in Birmingham against India.
Tests: 3, Runs: 219, Avg: 43.80, 50s: 2
A heartbreaking story. It seemed England had found a long-term Test opener in the now 21-year-old. He showed exemplary courage and application as he was dismissed for a single digit score just once in three Tests against the Indians in 2016 before a finger injury paved the way for Jennings’ debut. However, as he recovered away from the Test team, his domestic form dropped like a stone. Technical flaws have reportedly seeped into his game. However, the Lancashire batsman has time on his side.
England have an excellent record in Tests against India at the ‘Home of Cricket’. In 17 Tests at the ground, India have won just two matches and have suffered defeats 11 times. Looking at the overall, India don’t seem to stand stand much of a chance despite winning the last time in 2014.
However if you look at the England’s record at the ground in the last few years, a trend emerges – that of a clear struggle against subcontinent teams.
In last 10 Tests at the ground, England have won four Tests, lost as many and drawn two. The wins have come against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies.
But more interestingly, two of the defeats have come against Pakistan and one against India. Also, both draws have come against Sri Lanka.
The trend started with India defeating the hosts in 2014 thanks to a six-wicket haul from seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and a seven-wicket burst from quick Ishant Sharma.
Then in 2016, Pakistan triumphed by 75 runs thanks to a 10-wicket match haul by leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
The men in green were at it again this year, as an inexperienced team led by Sarfraz Ahmed stunned Joe Root’s England by nine wickets with seamer Mohammad Abbas picking up eight wickets in the match.
Sri Lanka done admirably as well. They drew their matches in 2014 and 2016.
Seamers and spinners from the subcontinent have enjoyed conditions at Lord’s. And given that the pitch for the match starting Thursday should aid spinners due to the heatwave in London, expect India to be extremely competitive.
Since their first appearance way back in 1932, the Indians have only won two of their 17 matches there with their most recent coming on the last tour in 2014.
We look back at all the matches India have played at Lord’s:
JUNE 1932: LOST BY 158 RUNS
The only Test of the series but it was a ruthless welcome from the hosts. Mohammad Nissar made a dream start with a five-wicket haul that saw England bowled out for 259. Captain CK Nayudu led from the front to top-score with 40 but India were still behind after scoring 189.
England piled on more pressure with the bat and a target of 346 proved to be too much for the tourists despite Amar Singh scoring a half-century.
JUNE 1936: LOST BY NINE WICKETS
Bowled out for 147, India fought back as Amar Singh’s six-for saw them take a 13-run lead. But India batsmen crumbled with Gubby Allen completing his second five-wicket haul of the match to bowl India out for 93. England reached their 107-run target with ease inside 40 overs.
JUNE 1946: LOST BY 10 WICKETS
A decade later but the same result. Rusi Modi’s unbeaten 57 saw India reach 200 in their first innings. That proved to be too few as England posted a first innings total of 428 thanks to an unbeaten 205 from Joe Hardstaff and Paul Gibb’s 60.
Vinoo Mankad hit 63 as India got a a 48-run lead but England cruised home without losing a single wicket.
JUNE 1952: LOST BY EIGHT WICKETS
After England amassed 537 in their reply to India’s 235, the tourists at least managed make the hosts bat again. That was purely down to Mankad who smashed 184 as India posted 378 with Jim Laker and Fred Trueman taking four wickets each. England only needed 77 to win and that proved to be a walk in the park.
JUNE 1959: LOST BY EIGHT WICKETS
Tommy Greenhough and Ramakant Desai claimed five each in the first innings for their respective teams as the hosts took a 58-run first innings lead. India’s batsmen failed with Vijay Manjrekar top-scoring with 61 in their second innings score of 165. England lost two early wickets but Colin Cowdrey’s unbeaten half-century saw them home.
JUNE 1967: LOST BY AN INNINGS AND 124 RUNS
The first innings defeat for India. Ajit Wadekar (57) was one of four players to reach double figures as India posted a first innings total of 152. Tom Graveney’ 151 meant the hosts took command with a total of 386. India fared poorly in a comprehensive defeat.
JULY 1971: DRAW
The losing streak finally ended for India. After England and India posted 304 and 313 in their first innings respectively, John Edrich’s half-century gave the visitors a target of 183. Sunil Gavaskar hit a fine fifty but India could only reach 145-8.
JUNE 1974: LOST BY AN INNINGS AND 285 RUNS
Three years later, it was back to business for England as they piled more misery on the Indians. They amassed 629 in the first innings which featured three centurions. India scored 302 in their reply and were asked to follow on. Then, Chris Old and Geoff Arnold shared nine wickets as India were shot out for a paltry 42 for one of the heaviest defeats in history.
AUGUST 1979: DRAW
For the second time in history, India escaped defeat at the ground. That was down to their brave second innings. It seemed India were set for another defeat when they were bowled out for 96 with Ian Botham claiming five scalps. England declared on 419-9 with David Gower making 82 but India did much better in their second innings, closing the day on 318-4.
JUNE 1982: LOST BY SEVEN WICKETS
India were already up against it when England posted 433 in the first innings. Sunil Gavaskar’s 48 was the only highlight for India as they were all out for 128. That enforced the follow-on and while the Indians fared much better with a score of 369, Allan Lamb’s unbeaten 37 sealed victory.
JUNE 1986: WON BY FIVE WICKETS
Few expected an India victory. Chetan Sharma’s five-wicket haul saw England out for 294 as Dilip Vengsarkar scored a century to take a first innings lead. When India returned with the ball, it was Kapil Dev who dazzled taking four wickets as India received a 134-run target.
JULY 1990: LOST BY 247 RUNS
Graham Gooch scored a mammoth 333 as England posted 653-4. Mohammad Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri helped themselves to a century as India made 454. Gooch then returned for another century before India were all out for 224.
JUNE 1996: DRAW
Venkatesh Prasad claimed five wickets as England were all out for 344. Sourav Ganguly’s 131 helped India take a lead as they made 429. That was the only time they batted as England declared made 278-9 in their second outing.
JULY 2002: LOST BY 170 RUNS
Nasser Hussain’s 155 and Freddie Flintoff’s 59 saw the hosts put on 487. Virender Sehwag hit 84 in India’s 221 while Michael Vaughan was one of two centurions as England declared on 301-6. With a target of 568, Ajit Agarkar provided some resistance with a memorable century but that was not enough to prevent defeat.
JULY 2007: DRAW
Andrew Strauss missed his ton by four runs as England posted 298. Wasim Jaffer’s 58 saw India score 201 on their first attempt. While England hit 282 in the second, an unbeaten half-century from wicket-keeper MS Dhoni salvaged a draw as India finished on 282-9.
JULY 2011: LOST BY 196 RUNS
Kevin Pietersen stole the show as England racked up 474-8 declared. But Rahul Dravid showed why he is called ‘The Wall’ with an unbeaten 103 as India hit 286. England set a target of 458 for India which proved to be well beyond them.
JULY 2014: WON BY 95 RUNS
Finally something to celebrate for India. Ajinkya Rahane’s 103 gave India a decent start with a total of 295. Gary Ballance did the same for England as they took a first-innings lead but India’s 342 in the second innings sealed only their second triumph at Lord’s.