Former Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar has stated that age should not be a criteria for a player's selection, and that a player should be selected in the team if he is good enough to play. The 'Master Blaster' was saying this in relation to the inclusion of Sam Curran and Ollie Pope in the English squad for the second Test at Lord's, despite them being just 20.
Curran won the man of the match award for his sensational display in the first Test between England and India at Birmingham. The youngster took five wickets, and scored some important runs to help his side win the game by 31 runs.
And for the second Test, England decided to bring in another youngster called Pope, who has lit up the domestic circuit. And Tendulkar believes that age shouldn't be a concern if the player has the quality to succeed. He was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying, "If somebody is good, he should play for the country and age shouldn't be the criteria."
Tendulkar was 16 when he made his international debut against Pakistan in a Test match. Recalling his own time as a youngster, he said, "When I played my first game, I was only 16. In a way, it only helped. I didn't know what it was like to face Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Abdul Qadir. Possibly, the best bowling attack at the stage."
England announced their 13-man squad on Sunday for the second Test at Lord's, which saw two notable changes. Ben Stokes, the destructor with the ball in India's second innings at Birmingham, is left out due to his hearing in court, which was scheduled this week. He is replaced by Chris Woakes, who missed the first Test after recovering from an injury.
There was also a maiden call-up for young Ollie Pope, who comes in for Dawid Malan following his poor displays, both with bat and in field, in the first Test. The 20-year-old Pope is expected to start at Lord's.