In a positive development for the visiting England team, their middle-order batsman Ollie Pope has been declared fit and added to Test squad for the upcoming four-match series against India that gets underway from Friday. Pope took part in he touring party’s first practice session following the end of their quarantine period after arriving in the country from Sri Lanka last week.

Pope had dislocated his shoulder while fielding against Pakistan during a Test in August last year which required surgery. It was the second time that the youngster has suffered such injury during his career.

“Surrey batsman Ollie Pope has been added to the England Test squad for the tour of India,” England and the Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Pope has fully recovered from a left shoulder injury sustained in August 2020 against Pakistan. The England medical team are satisfied that he is available for selection,” it added.

The 23-year-old Pope will, in all likeliness, bat at No. 5 or 6 should he make the cut for the first Test to be played at Chennai’s M Chidambaram Stadium. Since making his debut in 2018, against India, he has played 13 Tests and scored 645 runs including a century and five fifties.

The Test series assumes significance as its outcome will dictate who faces New Zealand at the inaugural ICC World Championship final in June this year. India, who are at the top of the standings, have to win the series by at least 2-0 to secure the final spot.

The first two Tests of the series will be played in Chennai while the action shifts to Ahmedabad’s renovated Sardar Patel Stadium for the remaining two matches. The Tests will be followed by five T20Is and three ODIs.

England are aiming to become the first team since 2012 to win a Test series in India.