London: England batsman Ollie Pope was on Saturday rendered a doubtful starter for the opening Test against India after suffering a thigh injury during his stint for Surrey in the Vitality Blast. The 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman sustained a thigh muscle injury on July 2 during Surrey’s match against Kent in the domestic T20 tournament.
“Pope has been ruled out until England’s LV= Insurance Test Series against India after suffering a left thigh muscle injury," England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement. “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." That first Test starts at Trent Bridge on August 4.
Pope has scored 882 runs in 19 Tests with a highest score of 135 not out against South Africa in January, 2020. However, he has not been able to reach 35-run mark in his last 8 Tests. If he is unable to recover from the injury in time then Dawid Malan, who has impressed with the bat in England’s limited over cricket, may get a chance.