Washout leaves England and India with selection dilemmas

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England and India must update their plans after Lord’s first washout in 17 years reduced the second Specsavers Test to a four-day match.

There was no time even for the toss or announcement of teams to take place, before forecast bad weather set in and never cleared.

It was hoped an improvement would come in time to get under way after tea, but the rain continued – and umpires Marais Erasmus and Aleem Dar announced at 4.50pm that there would be no play.

Both teams have retained the option of playing a second spinner here, after months of heatwave conditions.

But with the match shorn by a day already, and a changing weather pattern potentially altering conditions both under foot and above, selection will be intriguing – and predominantly seam attacks may be preferred after all.

The forecast for the rest of the Test is favourable – and after the washout, 98 overs will be scheduled on each remaining day, with no alteration to the scheduled start time of 11am but extra time allocated instead in extended second and third sessions.

It is the first time a whole Test match day has been lost to the weather at the Home of Cricket since May 2001, against Pakistan.

The last washout in this country was across the capital at The Oval, in the 2013 Ashes.

England lead this five-match series 1-0 after their thrilling 31-run win at Edgbaston last weekend.

Batsman Dawid Malan was dropped here in favour of 20-year-old debutant Ollie Pope.

But national selector Ed Smith insists his former Middlesex team-mate nonetheless remains in contention to add to his 15 Test caps when the time and conditions are right.

Smith observed last weekend that Malan may be more effective away from home, having made a century in Perth during England’s 4-0 Ashes defeat last winter.

On Thursday evening, he said: “When a player has been left out there should be clear communication on the way they can improve in order to get back into contention.

“That is the conversation I had with Dawid yesterday – I spent a couple of hours with him face to face, and the message is very simple.

“He has scored more than 10,000 first-class runs in England and the guy has shown he can play very well on different surfaces.

“But in an England shirt, one of the things he has done distinctively is play very well in very alien conditions – so I wanted to reaffirm to him that one of the things we are looking at is having the right players for the right conditions. He remains in contention.”

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