Rain delays Eng-India Lord's Test

AFP . London | Update:

A cricket fans sits beneath an umbrella as rain delays play on the first day of the second Test cricket match between England and India at Lord`s Cricket Ground in London on 9 August 2018. - AFPRain delayed the scheduled toss in the second Test between England and India at Lord's on Thursday.

Early morning overcast skies in north London eventually gave way to gentle but persistent rain which was sufficient to ensure the pitch and square at the 'home of cricket' remained fully covered.

The match had been due to start at 11:00am but a delay now looks assured.

England lead the five-match series 1-0 after a 31-run victory in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.

They will, however, make at least two changes to their side.

England captain Joe Root confirmed on Wednesday that Ollie Pope, a 20-year-old Surrey batsman, would make his Test debut in place of the dropped Dawid Malan.

The hosts will also be without Ben Stokes, who took three wickets on Sunday's fourth and final day at Edgbaston, including the prize scalp of India captain Virat Kohli, because of the Durham all-rounder's ongoing trial for affray in Bristol.

England have yet to decide whether Chris Woakes, a fellow pace-bowling all-rounder, or off-spinner Moeen Ali will replace Stokes.

Both they and India, who could make changes as well, are not obliged to confirm their respective teams until the toss takes place.

Stokes wishes England newcomer Pope well

Absent all-rounder Ben Stokes sent best wishes to his England team-mates, in particular debutant batsman Ollie Pope, ahead of the second Test against India at Lord's on Thursday.

Stokes was left out of England's squad's for the second Test because of his ongoing trial on a charge of affray in Bristol, having taken three wickets as the hosts completed a 31-run win at Edgbaston on Sunday to go 1-0 up in a five-match series.

The 27-year-old Stokes has denied the charge against him.

England captain Joe Root confirmed on Wednesday that 20-year-old Surrey batsman Pope would make his debut at Lord's in place of the dropped Dawid Malan.

Stokes wished his colleagues well in a Twitter message accompanied by an Instagram photograph of all-rounder Sam Curran, like Pope a 20-year-old Surrey star, celebrating a wicket.

"Good luck to all the englandcricket lads today and for the rest of the week, always exciting seeing guys get there first opportunity, hope it goes for you well for you @opope32 #loveengland" wrote Stokes.

 
   
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