Ollie Pope, England’s prolific batter, is set to miss the remaining matches of the Ashes series due to a dislocated shoulder.
A medical assessment on Monday confirmed that 25-year-old Pope needs surgery and will be off the field for the remainder of the season.
England’s batting line-up for the upcoming third Test at Headingley, which kicks off this Thursday, is likely to be fortified by Dan Lawrence.
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At 25, Essex’s Lawrence is the only backup batter in England’s current squad. For the Leeds Test, England has dismissed the idea of bringing in an additional player, making a comeback for Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes unlikely.
With an average of 29 from 11 Tests, Lawrence has been out of the game since the West Indies tour in March 2022, which was prior to Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum assuming their roles as captain and coach respectively.
Pope’s injury this time is to his right shoulder. His left shoulder was previously dislocated twice before it was operated on in 2020.
He endured the recent injury during the first innings at Lord’s but still managed to contribute 42 runs. Amid a misunderstanding regarding the umpire’s instructions, Pope returned to the field for Australia’s second innings, worsening his condition.
Earlier in the season, Pope had an impressive score of 205 against Ireland, followed by performances of 31, 14, 42, and 13 in the Ashes series.
In the event of Pope’s absence in Leeds, one alternative approach could be to shift the batters up the order and reintroduce Moeen Ali at the seventh spot, while possibly bringing in Chris Woakes to replace a bowler and boost the batting strength.
In a recent press conference, ex-captain Joe Root didn’t exclude the possibility of moving up to the third spot, a position he has filled 33 times before.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ollie Pope shoulder injury
What injury did Ollie Pope sustain during the Ashes 2023?
Ollie Pope dislocated his shoulder during the second Test at Lord’s in the Ashes 2023 series.
How long will Ollie Pope be out of the game?
After undergoing a medical scan, it was confirmed that Ollie Pope would require surgery. As a result, he is ruled out for the rest of the summer season.
Who is likely to replace Ollie Pope in the upcoming matches?
Dan Lawrence, who is currently the only spare batter in England’s squad, is the most probable replacement for Ollie Pope in the third Test.
When and where will the third Test be held?
The third Test is set to start at Headingley on Thursday.
Did Pope have any previous shoulder injuries?
Yes, Pope had previously dislocated his left shoulder twice, which required surgical intervention in 2020. This time, he has injured his right shoulder.
Who is the other potential replacement for Ollie Pope?
While it’s not certain, there’s a possibility that the batting order could be shifted, bringing Moeen Ali to the seventh spot and possibly introducing Chris Woakes to replace a bowler and strengthen the batting.