England get Pope boost but Crawley a doubt after freak injury

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – England welcomed back a fit-again Ollie Pope on Wednesday after he recovered from a shoulder injury but the tourists’ batting consultant Jonathan Trott said batsman Zak Crawley’s participation is in doubt after he injured his wrist.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket – First Test – England v Pakistan – Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – August 8, 2020 England’s Ollie Pope in action, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Dan Mullan/Pool via REUTERS/File photo

“Zak Crawley did not train today at England’s practice session in Chennai. He slipped outside the dressing room yesterday and has injured his right wrist,” Trott said.

“We are waiting on the results of scans and will know more tomorrow, ahead of our final practice. There is nothing further to add at this stage.”

Middle order batsman Pope, who injured his left shoulder against Pakistan in August, had been practising with the squad at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium which hosts the first two matches.

“The England medical team are satisfied that he is available for selection,” the team said in a statement.

Trott reminded England of the importance of posting a big first-innings total in the four-test series against India beginning on Friday.

England will need their batting unit to fire against India, who are eyeing a 13th consecutive test series victory on home soil.

“Big runs early on in the first innings, like anywhere else, but in India, it’s really, really important,” former test batsman Trott told a video conference.

“Playing spin and having your own method, and being able to execute that under pressure is probably the most important thing.”

India have traditionally been a spin hub but Trott said it would be a mistake to underestimate their pace attack led by Jasprit Bumrah.

“Certainly we saw their pace attack in Australia did really well and they’re very talented, all-round with the ball… It’s crucially important to prepare for both.”


India are on a high after their 2-1 series victory in Australia but vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane ruled out any complacency as they chase a spot in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship against New Zealand.

“Not at all. We know every series, every game, is really important,” said Rahane who led India in the last three matches in Australia after Virat Kohli returned home to attend the birth of his daughter.

“What happened in Australia was really special but that’s past. We are thinking about this series and taking one game at a time.

“What we learnt from Australia after losing the test match in Adelaide and how we came back is — it’s all about staying in the moment.

“We respect England, they are a very good team. They did really well in Sri Lanka. So we have to play good cricket, back our strengths and play as a team,” Rahane added.

Additional reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge