Ollie Pope added to England's Ashes squad as cover for Jason Roy ahead of third Test
Watch the third Ashes Test between England and Australia, live on Sky Sports The Ashes, from 10am on Thursday
Last Updated: 21/08/19 10:10pm
Ollie Pope has been added to England's squad for the third Ashes Test at Headingley as cover for Surrey team-mate Jason Roy.
Pope, 21, played two Tests against India last summer scoring 54 runs in three innings only to pick up a shoulder injury that required surgery at the start of this domestic season.
He returned to action for Surrey in the Vitality Blast in July and showcased his talents by striking an unbeaten 221 against Hampshire in the current round of County Championship matches.
Pope's call-up comes after Surrey team-mate Roy was struck on the head by a ball thrown by Marcus Trescothick, who was working with England's batsmen during training on Tuesday.
While Roy has passed the required concussion protocols so far and captain Joe Root says the batsman is highly unlikely to sit out the third Test at Headingley, England's selectors have decided to bolster their options as a precaution. Joe Denly will be promoted up the order to open if necessary.
"Jason has been monitored quite closely, as you'd expect," explained Root. "He's undergone a couple of concussion tests so far and scored really well, so as it stands I full expect him to be fit and ready to play tomorrow."
Root said England will not name their starting XI until the toss but said that if Roy is available he will open the batting, offering a conflicting view to head coach Trevor Bayliss who believes the right-hander is better suited to the middle order.
"I obviously think he should open otherwise he would be batting at four," said Root. "There is obviously a lot of talk about our batting order and the variety of options that we have and the different ways we can go with it.
"At no stage are we trying to reinvent the wheel but it's something that we've got to play to our strengths with and be flexible with. It might be that over the course of the series it looks different at different times.
"I feel that Jason can have a really big impact at the start of a game or an innings. I fully expect him to go out there and do just that."
England's chances of regaining the urn will end at Leeds should they lose again to Australia, who already hold a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series.
But the tourists will go into the match without Steve Smith after the former captain was struck by a vicious Jofra Archer delivery in the second Test and subsequently ruled out with concussion.
"When you play against someone of his quality, you are trying to find a number of different ways to get him out," said Root. "I felt like the way that Jofra Archer bowled in that spell made for great cricket.
"We felt like we were creating chances all the time but you never want to see someone go off injured like that. There was a lot of concern in our dressing room for his health and it's great to see that he's up and about.
"It's very unfortunate on their part. We had the challenge of Jimmy [Anderson] going down four overs into a Test match and had to manage that without a replacement, so you get these swings within a big series like this every now and again and when you get your opportunity you've got to jump on it."
England named a 12-man squad for the Test on Tuesday, when Bayliss hinted that Sam Curran could come in and replace all-rounder Chris Woakes.
"Sam Curran is always in our thoughts when he's in the squad," said Root. "He offers something different; he's such an impressive young talent who has the ability to affect the game when he gets his opportunity.
"Chris is travelling well. His workloads weren't as high as some of the other guys coming out of that Lord's Test; that was just the way it unravelled and it was similar coming out of the first Test at Edgbaston but he's in a good place and he certainly has the ability to exploit the conditions here."
Watch day one of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia, at Headingley, live on Sky Sports The Ashes (channel 404) and Main Event (channel 401) from 10am on Thursday.
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