LONDON, (Reuters) – Surrey’s 19-year-old all-rounder Sam Curran was handed his first England cap yesterday after Ben Stokes was ruled out for the second test against Pakistan at Headingley.
Stokes failed a late fitness test on a hamstring strain suffered during fielding practice this week.
“Stokesy’s not fit so Sam Curran makes his debut,” said captain Joe Root.
Curran, a left-arm swing bowler, has taken more than 100 first-class wickets and averages 27.18 with the bat.
His older brother Tom played two tests in England’s recent Ashes defeat in Australia while late father Kevin played for Zimbabwe.
Pakistan, who beat England by nine wickets in the first test at Lord’s, won the toss and opted to bat.
Curran was one of three changes made by England with Chris Woakes replacing Mark Wood and Keaton Jennings in for Mark Stoneman.
Pakistan made one forced change with Usman Salahuddin replacing the injured Babar Azam for his debut.
“It looks like a good pitch, so hopefully we will do well,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Root agreed it looked like a good surface, with plenty of humidity.
“We might get a bit of swing, so that might help us,” he told Sky Sports television. “(We’ve) Just got to make the most of our opportunity with this new ball and use what we’ve got on this fresh pitch.”