Lucky Bopara gets the nod again

December 9, 2011
Ravi Bopara

by dheeraj brokara

Geoff Miller this morning announced the 16 names that will be touring the United Arab Emirates to play Pakistan in the Test series starting in the New Year. One notable inclusion was that of Ravi Bopara. Bopara is unlikely to start in the Test matches because of the return to fitness of Eoin Morgan, but with just one injury to the top order, the Essex man is the next cab off the rank.

I believe he has been very fortunate with this selection, as well as past selections for England last summer. In 12 Test matches Bopara has a respectable average of 34 with the bat. However, let’s not forget that against a very average West Indian side, he scored three Test centuries in a row at the start of his career. Since then we have seen a run of poor scores, and a man that has looked out of his depth, and at times shell shocked by all that has gone on around him.

In 69 one-day internationals Bopara is yet to register a century, and has a modest average of 29. Granted, Bopara can get through some overs with the ball, but any top line international batsman shouldn’t lose any sleep over his medium pacers. At 26, Bopara is still young enough to prove his critics wrong (myself), but I do believe others have not been treated on an equal playing field to that of Ravi.

Bopara opted out of the IPL last April and since then the selectors have favoured the 26 year old, despite his troubles for Essex and England. Bopara is a very talented batsman and I have enjoyed watching some of his destructive innings in county cricket, but for me he doesn’t have that look in his eye that suggests he is going to nail down a spot in the England side, perform against good opposition, and more importantly actually get England over the line in a crucial match. The same cannot be said for Eoin Morgan who is cool, calm, and will punish an opponent at any given opportunity.

I would have liked to see Samit Patel selected ahead of Bopara. I believe Patel is good enough to score centuries at Test match level. He also could have provided England with a second spin option, which in Asia can be a preferred method of winning games. This would not have been to replace Panesar in the squad, but to go alongside Panesar, with Bopara missing out.

Sehwag is a genius

Piers Morgan summed it up when on twitter when he said:
“I’d swap everything I’ve done in my miserable little life to bat like Virender Sehwag. #Viru”

I was actually in agreement yesterday with Piers. Watching Sehwag destroy an international attack in such fashion was as good as having a season ticket at the Nou Camp. One thing that I really admire about Sehwag is he’s unrivalled self-belief. Yesterday’s innings had come off the back of several low scores, and people were starting to question the great man. Most mere mortals come out of a bad trot with a battling innings where they might score 60 or 70 from many more balls, as they slowly find their feet again. There was no finding his feet again for Sehwag, in actual fact he doesn’t move his feet at all. I would be surprised if his 219 off 149 balls is ever matched or beaten in this form of the game. Although having said that, Sehwag hasn’t retired yet. Chris Gayle is the only other guy on the planet who could match this achievement, but he is currently more interested in domestic money then international cricket.

The Scoop 09/12/2011

2 Comments to “Lucky Bopara gets the nod again”

  1. Rachel
    December 9th, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    What about Michael Carberry!!

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  2. Mike
    December 9th, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    Carbs had a great end to the season last year and I have always thought very highly of him. Well said Rachel

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