South Africa in England 2012 July 29, 2012

James Taylor called up for second Test

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James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire batsman, has been called up for the second Test against South Africa at Headingley after Ravi Bopara was ruled out because of what the ECB said were 'personal issues'.

The first match at The Oval marked Bopara's return to the Test line-up after nearly a year out of the team but he struggled, making 0 and 22. He was due to play in Essex's CB40 match against Worcestershire on Sunday but also withdrew from that that and this latest development brings a halt to another attempt to establish himself in the Test line up.

Taylor, who played one ODI against Ireland last year, will enter the match in good form after making a century against Sussex in the current round of Championship matches, although before that innings he had a lean season in four-day cricket with one half-century in nine matches. However, he had scored a century for England Lions against the West Indians earlier this season.

Taylor was preferred ahead of Jonny Bairstow, who played the three Tests against West Indies in place of an injured Bopara, and Somerset's Nick Compton, the lead run-scorer in the Championship.

Speaking after the second day against Sussex, before news of his call up, he said: "My ultimate ambition has always been to play Test cricket and my plan at the start of the season was to try to establish myself here and win games for Nottinghamshire, to keep knocking at the door and hope that when an opportunity did arise with England I would have enough runs behind me that they couldn't not pick me.

"I always expected to score runs because I know I can but it has been good to play against first division bowling attacks and on difficult wickets. I feel good about the way things are going at the moment."

Taylor is the only change to the 13-man squad after the innings-and-12-run defeat in the opening Test at The Oval, although question marks remain over the make up of the bowling attack after England took just two wickets in 189 overs. Steven Finn and Graham Onions, who both played Championship cricket this week, are the other options should the selectors decide on a change.

The most vulnerable of the pace bowlers appears to be Tim Bresnan, although he would bring local knowledge on his home ground and can bowl long spells. Stuart Broad was below his best at The Oval but it is unlikely that England will considering leaving him out, after showing faith in him during previous slips in form.

Finn took six wickets against Durham at Chester-le-Street while, by the start of the third day, Onions had four. Both played against West Indies at Edgbaston when England rotated their pace attack and Finn showed excellent form against Australia in the one-day series.

Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "We were outplayed during the first Test last week but it is important that this squad regroups and focuses on preparing for the second Test. This is a talented squad with plenty of international experience and they will be determined to improve on the performance during the first Test.

"We have made one change to the squad with James Taylor replacing Ravi Bopara, who is unavailable for selection due to personal reasons. James has been part of the England Performance Programme for a number of years and has performed consistently for England Lions and now has an opportunity to step up and experience the Test environment."

Squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Graham Onions

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY shajw on | July 31, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    @StaalBurgher: so, by your definition, only Zulus should represent South Africa?

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 31, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @StaalBurgher - "...you should be of that ethnic background..." Please define England or Oz ethnicity & while your at it - what's Sth Africa's ethnicity? @jezzastyles - don't worry about hhillbumper - he trolls on Oz sites all the time, it is quite funny that he is getting his knickers in a bunch.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    I really hope Bopara's problems aren't serious because it would have to be to pull out at such a moment. If Taylor gets more than about 20 then Bopara might never play Test cricket again, so it must be pretty serious. As a massive fan of Trescothick I really hope it isn't depression. Bopara is a fine player and deserves a decent run, but good luck to Taylor, he's definitely one for the future.

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | July 31, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    Greatestgame. Here here well said. Jezza. My comments are an attempt to equalise procedings here on cricifo. I still feel I have not been radical enough nor will one man ever balance some of this lot. I am actually not that one-eyed. Eng are a good outfit and I pray for a better showing come thur. As for the tired posts about ethnicity I am proud of my countries stance on it, I come from the most ethnic town in England, for those that want Eng to be blond hair/blue eyes and can trace their heritage back to Arthur can do one.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 30, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    @StaalBurgher. I watched the last test SA played before isolation, & a team ready to dominate test cricket for years. They never played again because SA's government imposed standards defined by so-called "ethnicity." The ONLY standard for representing a National team is, & can be, eligibility as defined in the ICC rules. Eng are teased mercilessly because of the so-called S. Africans in their team. As a S. African I delight in teasing them. However, Eng MUST pick players ONLY based on ability & eligibility. Any other criteria would be bigotry! Imran Tahir is in EXACTLY the same position as Peterson, Trott, Prior, Wagner, Van Wyk etc. They meet the requirements, & should play if selected. Test cricket is a multi-cultural game played by multi-cultural countries. Teasing the Poms is fun, but we live in glass houses & must take great care not cross the line & throw stones. I am as proud of Basil D'Oliviera as I am of Kallis, Amla or Ntini - all great S. Africans, wherever they played.

  • POSTED BY Damo_s on | July 30, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    "KP ... played a big part in the failure of our first innings by getting out to a stupid shot exposing middle order to the new ball." - I thought the same thing when he got himself out. That said, our middle order should be good enough to cope with a new ball no? KP is possibly the one batsmen in our team the SA bowlers will be wary of and he should use this wisely rather than trying to be over agressive and get out. Lets see what taylor does before we all start saying how good he is / isnt. he may thrive, or he may do a ramprakash.

  • POSTED BY 12thUmpire on | July 30, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    India used to have openers as sacrificial lambs before exposing their recognized batsmen. What is Eng strategy? Is №6 ALso ANother LAMB? Then send Anderson as the day watchman, he sure can transfer the strike as often as the present №6 against strong teams. Did Straussy say there's no room for passengers? Then why is he "batting" against strong teams instead of following the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors, Vaughny and Nass? He should return against weak teams, and consult Bopara on generating a "personal reason" in the interim!

  • POSTED BY bonobo on | July 30, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    it gets so boring on this site,m when anything to do with england relates to someones birth place. most people dont care.....we just like watching cricket. staalburger unbelievable....................anyway. #6 is a worry for england since Collingwood stood down, Bairstow looked very immature, most commentators feel the same about Taylor, although lets hope he gets a good few games to prove himself....Morgan clearly needs work and Bopara hasnt convinced he is more than decent player at best. There seems to be a big gap between the test stars late 20s and early 30s and those guys and players like Taylor Bairstow...given Strauss is expected to retire next year...this could be a bigger long term issue..on the bowling all the talk is about Finn...but if someone comes in maybe Onions a better shout, Eng bowlers really failed to attack the stumps, Onions goes wicket to wicket is in great form and out bowled Finn against the Windies

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | July 30, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Staalburgher- how far back do you want to do? Only pick those with Angle heritage, and then stop anyone with Norman or Saxon blood from playing? Sorry mate the world has moved on from such fantasies. You play the best citizens of your country in your team. The concept is even more laughable when you look at Australia and South Africa, what "ethnicity" criteria do you look place on them?

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | July 30, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    @hhillbumper - it's an international game, so fans of ANY country can tune in and have their five-cents worth - as long as they try and give a balanced and fair response, why do you care. I know some fans go over the top, but do you really take it to heart that much. After all, it's a public forum, you don't own ESPN Cricinfo, and they set the guidelines, moderate comments, and so on. The more audience the site gets, the more advertising income they generate, I would suspect.

  • POSTED BY shajw on | July 31, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    @StaalBurgher: so, by your definition, only Zulus should represent South Africa?

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 31, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @StaalBurgher - "...you should be of that ethnic background..." Please define England or Oz ethnicity & while your at it - what's Sth Africa's ethnicity? @jezzastyles - don't worry about hhillbumper - he trolls on Oz sites all the time, it is quite funny that he is getting his knickers in a bunch.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    I really hope Bopara's problems aren't serious because it would have to be to pull out at such a moment. If Taylor gets more than about 20 then Bopara might never play Test cricket again, so it must be pretty serious. As a massive fan of Trescothick I really hope it isn't depression. Bopara is a fine player and deserves a decent run, but good luck to Taylor, he's definitely one for the future.

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | July 31, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    Greatestgame. Here here well said. Jezza. My comments are an attempt to equalise procedings here on cricifo. I still feel I have not been radical enough nor will one man ever balance some of this lot. I am actually not that one-eyed. Eng are a good outfit and I pray for a better showing come thur. As for the tired posts about ethnicity I am proud of my countries stance on it, I come from the most ethnic town in England, for those that want Eng to be blond hair/blue eyes and can trace their heritage back to Arthur can do one.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 30, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    @StaalBurgher. I watched the last test SA played before isolation, & a team ready to dominate test cricket for years. They never played again because SA's government imposed standards defined by so-called "ethnicity." The ONLY standard for representing a National team is, & can be, eligibility as defined in the ICC rules. Eng are teased mercilessly because of the so-called S. Africans in their team. As a S. African I delight in teasing them. However, Eng MUST pick players ONLY based on ability & eligibility. Any other criteria would be bigotry! Imran Tahir is in EXACTLY the same position as Peterson, Trott, Prior, Wagner, Van Wyk etc. They meet the requirements, & should play if selected. Test cricket is a multi-cultural game played by multi-cultural countries. Teasing the Poms is fun, but we live in glass houses & must take great care not cross the line & throw stones. I am as proud of Basil D'Oliviera as I am of Kallis, Amla or Ntini - all great S. Africans, wherever they played.

  • POSTED BY Damo_s on | July 30, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    "KP ... played a big part in the failure of our first innings by getting out to a stupid shot exposing middle order to the new ball." - I thought the same thing when he got himself out. That said, our middle order should be good enough to cope with a new ball no? KP is possibly the one batsmen in our team the SA bowlers will be wary of and he should use this wisely rather than trying to be over agressive and get out. Lets see what taylor does before we all start saying how good he is / isnt. he may thrive, or he may do a ramprakash.

  • POSTED BY 12thUmpire on | July 30, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    India used to have openers as sacrificial lambs before exposing their recognized batsmen. What is Eng strategy? Is №6 ALso ANother LAMB? Then send Anderson as the day watchman, he sure can transfer the strike as often as the present №6 against strong teams. Did Straussy say there's no room for passengers? Then why is he "batting" against strong teams instead of following the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors, Vaughny and Nass? He should return against weak teams, and consult Bopara on generating a "personal reason" in the interim!

  • POSTED BY bonobo on | July 30, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    it gets so boring on this site,m when anything to do with england relates to someones birth place. most people dont care.....we just like watching cricket. staalburger unbelievable....................anyway. #6 is a worry for england since Collingwood stood down, Bairstow looked very immature, most commentators feel the same about Taylor, although lets hope he gets a good few games to prove himself....Morgan clearly needs work and Bopara hasnt convinced he is more than decent player at best. There seems to be a big gap between the test stars late 20s and early 30s and those guys and players like Taylor Bairstow...given Strauss is expected to retire next year...this could be a bigger long term issue..on the bowling all the talk is about Finn...but if someone comes in maybe Onions a better shout, Eng bowlers really failed to attack the stumps, Onions goes wicket to wicket is in great form and out bowled Finn against the Windies

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | July 30, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @Staalburgher- how far back do you want to do? Only pick those with Angle heritage, and then stop anyone with Norman or Saxon blood from playing? Sorry mate the world has moved on from such fantasies. You play the best citizens of your country in your team. The concept is even more laughable when you look at Australia and South Africa, what "ethnicity" criteria do you look place on them?

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | July 30, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    @hhillbumper - it's an international game, so fans of ANY country can tune in and have their five-cents worth - as long as they try and give a balanced and fair response, why do you care. I know some fans go over the top, but do you really take it to heart that much. After all, it's a public forum, you don't own ESPN Cricinfo, and they set the guidelines, moderate comments, and so on. The more audience the site gets, the more advertising income they generate, I would suspect.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    A good change, Bopara will never be a quality test batsman, he just doesn't have the temperament for it. I just hope that people won't expect Taylor to make hundreds straight away - give him time to find his feet, I'm sure he will be a quality test player given time.

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | July 30, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    The only way to prepare for test cricket is to play test cricket - if Taylor is picked in the 2nd test, regardless of his actual scores, he should be given an extended run in the side - I hope he does well. We've seen ENG crumble in the 1st test - I'd love to see how SA respond if they are put under the same kind of pressure in the 2nd test, faced with a big deficit after the 1st innings and looking to save the test. Realistically, I don't like my chances of seeing this happening, but a lot of the SA fans seem over-confident to me and it'd be good to see a real contest going into the 3rd test.

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | July 30, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    MattyP1979: good to see the ENG equivalent of RandyOZ; we'll see how poor AUS bowling stocks are later this year vs. PAK (can't be too bad, managed to beat the world champs 3-0 in three) & SA in AUS, then later next year in the Ashes; as for our batting lineup, have to agree by and large, still well & truly mired in the rebuilding process; Warner is hit & miss but can destroy any attack on his day (but I reckon he'll struggle in ENG); Watson squanders too many hundreds given his ability; however, Clarkey would be picked for ENG in a heartbeat, consistent performer, plays spinners very well, 329*, very good captain, etc. The ENG batting lineup have been excellent over the past 3-years, but pretty average since you won the #1 ranking. Maybe the decline has started....we'll have a good idea by the end of this series. Perhaps, like the recent AUS side, it'll be your bowling attack rescuing the batsmen more often than not, then copping the criticism when they have a "bad day".

  • POSTED BY StaalBurgher on | July 30, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Since this is an English team, English which is an ethnic group like Indian there shouldn't be any foreigners or Asians allowed. It would be equally ridiculous if a white South African played for the Indian team. Countries that are ethnic homelands should have special selection criteria, i.e. you should be of that ethnic background.

  • POSTED BY Ross_Co on | July 30, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    An Englishman? In the 'England' cricket team? An Englishman! Sorry, I'm trying get my head around the concept.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Greatest_Game. Delighted to read someone forcefully arguing the case of a very talented, true blue blooded English boy. I'm truly happy. But, at the same time depressed to see that you can be proud on "borrowed pride" -- in the case of Tony Grieg, not even one of those 'admirable' human beings, one can be proud of! If you have watched him closely in recent years, even as a commentator he can shift loyalties faster than my 70 year old younger sister puts on her dentures!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 30, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    It's a bit sad when a true red-blooded Englishman finally gets the call to report for duty for Queen & Country and most of the commentators here are complaining that a Saffa did not get the nod! Come on chaps - its not all about winning, its about who plays the game!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 30, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    @ThatPommyGuy pointed out that, and I quote, "If all goes to plan, Taylor won't even bat that much." Yup, Steyn's plan won't have him batting for much more than a couple of balls, that's for sure! Now if he was a bowler he'd have a LOT of work waiting for him!

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 30, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    Hey MattyP1979. I see CA is finally adopting the ECB's management by attrition & poaching any possible players policies. Seems a bit short sighted to be targeting Bopara though, and I'm not sure what good it will do them to try and poach all those bitter, used up old Saffas if they want any of Engs good players. I guess they could still poach Strauss. He can't do much worse that….well whoever it is they have today. Can't really go lower than a duck, now can he? Poor little feller, ending up a Saffer bunny!

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | July 30, 2012, 1:58 GMT

    @Paul Rone-Clarke Go on then , how is it me me me to do with KP, or are you just lapping up the media stories going around because it certainly looks that way. I didn't see anything from KP that was me,me,me no more than any other England player, or are we holding KP up to a different set of standards here. How quick some fans forget that the only match we won in the winter was done by KP almost by himself. Good job you don't pick the side because from the sounds of things you haven't a clue what you're talking about, Boycott was the most self centered selfish player ever to walk this earth, I take it you wouldn't pick him either, a lot of the best player are selfish. Anyone with any cricketing knowledge would know that the ball that KP got out to in the first inning 99 times out of 100 would of been smashed to the boundary, a rank leg side bouncer from Kallis. How was his worse than Trotts, two , Bell's god awful dismissal in the second, Prior's rubbish shot in the 2nd or others.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    It's nothing short of amazing he hasn't gotten a match before this. His figures and form are both really, really solid and though the typical supporter seems loathe to admit it for whatever reason there's been a gaping great hole in the number 6 position that Bopara and Morgan clearly haven't been right for.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 30, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    England has a proud record of SA batsmen, e.g. Tony Greig, Alan Lamb. If they are eligible, they should get the chances they have earned. (SA would snap up Broad in a heartbeat!) Bopara has to be replaced. Strauss too, he's just not scoring runs. (Not even a proper Saffa!) Be smart & bring in 2012's top 2 scorers in County - Compton and Lumb - a pair of fine, eligible Saffas. For bowling, forget Finn. Onions is tearing up the county circuit - 48 wickets at 13.81 Ave. Meaker is right behind Onions in wickets taken & has best figs in an inns - 8 for 52. Bye bye Broad & in with the Saffa bowler! Swann is done! Meet Moeen Ali - best County match bowling figures this year - 12 for 96 - & he can bat too: 7 tons, 28 half tons, 34.8 ave. Best of all, he has a beard longer than Amla's. That will freak out the Saffas, bearding the beard in his den, so to speak! Finally, 2012's County Best Bowling Ave & SR, with Econ of 1? Any guesses? Craig Kieswetter, Saffa, & a better bat than Tremlett! QED.

  • POSTED BY 12thUmpire on | July 29, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    A clear message to Eng. As soon as someone has learnt swimming, don't push him into shark-infested waters!!

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | July 29, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    News just in.....Bopara's personal reasons is that he once went on hoilday to Australia and is being picked to both open the batting and bowling for team baggy green. CA released a statement saying that Ravi would of got in on his bowling merits alone, but are glad to have quality batsman to their ranks. CA said Ravi will replace any of the top six through the shortest straw method.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    It does not matter who is selected and who is left out of the English test team. England has run out of steam after they gave India a whitewash. They were miserable against Pak in teste in the UAE. Their vaunted pace battery looks jaded and ineffectual and the more balanced SA teams is able to nullify the England top order batting. The discussion on team selection is just academic unless SA somehow manage to defeat themselves.

  • POSTED BY DirkL on | July 29, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    @jonnybtestmatch: "The English press are despisable, yes, but racist, no." The thought was put unforgettably by Humbert Wolfe: You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God! the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to.

  • POSTED BY wonderstar1 on | July 29, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    @hhillbumper choose any player to the tour of India. when they tour India, a real thrashing is awaiting for you. they cant play in sub-continent as proven many times but wait maybe Eng will whitewash ordinary Bangladesh in Ban which just consists of low profile and very ordinary players..

  • POSTED BY 12thUmpire on | July 29, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    Bopara deserves extended runs where he belongs. Save him for tests against weak teams; In county cricket he can be the next Ramps or Hicks; And certainly the IPL. Eng should remember what happened to Ramps when they unfairly exposed him to strong teams!

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 29, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    Difficult sries to make your debut in, but you've got to give them a chance some time I suppose.Ii'd like to see Morgan back as he at least has test match experience, but his boat seems to have sailed for now as far as test cricket goes.

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | July 29, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    Graham Gooch and most of the county circuit recognise that Ravi is a special talent. He deserves an extended run in the side and I only hope these "personal reasons" are temporary? Having said that I hope that JT makes it and bursts onto the test scene. Unfortunately few people appreciate the big jump in class that test cricket brings? South Africa are a fine side and take no prisoners! Now, if we were playing a weaker team like the Aussies or India......... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    @Flat_Track_bullies on (July 29 2012, 16:31 PM GMT) One difference is that Khan hasn't been exactly the model of grace and humility over the years

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta on (July 29 2012, 15:17 PM GMT) Re Ravi - I really don't see that at all. He is now an established ODI/T20 player where many of those players also play. Re Morgan - he was shoed in on his T20/ODI form and wasn't exceptional in tests before the UAE series where he had a mare. Bell was worse but his form in the prev 12-18 months kept him in. If it was an overseas born reason they'd have dropped Trott or KP because SA is further away from England than Ireland

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    @TeamSelector on (July 29 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) raoashishyadav on (July 29 2012, 13:28 PM GMT) - Morgan is an outstanding OD/T20 player but in tests - even before UAE - I was not convinced. I'm also not convinced that he is all that bothered about playing test cricket anyway. I've not noticed him scoring heavily in the county championship which I guess either means he's failing or not playing - either way it's not good if he wants to get back in. If he doesn't get back in he'll have more time to play the T20 bashes around the world which I'm sure he'd be perfectly happy with

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    @yorkshirematt on (July 29 2012, 10:50 AM GMT) Compton shouldn't be in because of his ancestry - otherwise we'd have another Chris Cowdrey on our hands. Nick should be in definitely. I wonder if they want a more aggressive number 6 - esp with us needing to win - but we've seen what happens with a more aggressive number 6 - he scores less runs and therefore the batting line up is less stable and in Morgan's case he tries to play over cautious and looks awful

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    @Tigg - Maybe Woakes should stop bowling altogether and then he might be considered purely as a batsman? England don't seem to like too many bowling options do they? So long as (on paper) they have batting depth.

  • POSTED BY jonnybtestmatch on | July 29, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    @Flat-Track_Bullies, I am sorry but that is utter rubbish. The majority of the press had stated that Bopara should have been given an extended run and should only be dropped for a bowler in order to change the balance of the side. The English press should not be viewed as a single entity. In terms of newspapers the tabloids and the broadsheets will give very diff views. Tabloids look for someone to blame all the time and tend to give a simplistic view of things. Hence why it may seem that all the press were calling for Ravi's head. In the broadsheets they tend to give a balanced view and I did not read too many journo's saying that one failure should mean dismissal. The English press are despisable, yes, but racist, no.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | July 29, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Anyone else think Bopara jumped before he was pushed to save face?

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | July 29, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Lets see what happens. As for all the foreign fans on here.this one is between us and the Saffers.Maybe you should concentrate on your own issues. The Aussies have been handled by us and we play India later this year. Lets see what happens.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Poor Bopara... But was the number 6 batsman's form England's problem? I would say Cook, Trott and Peterson, being caught for lack of proper footwork (or wrong technique) against quality bowling the reason for their loss. Cook - no foot work, Trott - charging against the bowler, Peterson - front foot bully. England's only chance to win this match is if it swings heavily and whoever plays for them exploit it. Simple as that. This formula has worked for Indians for years against the South Africans.

  • POSTED BY MDean on | July 29, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    njr1330, I presume the mods edited your post because it doesn't say what the selectors have got "appallingly wrong". As the test match is still four days away, it can only be assumed that your are a clairvoyant. Perhaps your next post could be more useful - you might like to tell us who is going to win the St.Leger. But before September 15th, please.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 29, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    @gimme-a-greentop - if you have a look at their respective first class figures, then there's no comparison; Taylor averages a tick under 50 whereas Morgan languishes in the mid-30s. It remains to be seen how he'll deal with the pressure though, but he played in a weak side in Leicestershire for so long and coped admirably, often carrying them to decent totals off his own bat, so it looks promising. I agree about it being a tough task mind you! He is a fine young player though - savage on the cut, pull and hook in particular and impishly creative at times. He should have a long and successful Test career, but I just wonder if maybe it's a bit early for him.

  • POSTED BY Flat_Track_bullies on | July 29, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    I feel for Bopara - I hope there really are personal reasons and he hasn't thrown the towel

    The problem with English press and Asian players is - no matter how well they do (say his perfo agains Aussies), there's limited praise (remember Amir Khan's comments?); and the first occassion he didn't do so well - there's everyone asking for his head.. how depressing. This was his first test after a while guys - give him a break (?)

  • POSTED BY gimme-a-greentop on | July 29, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    As an SA supporter I would be more worried with Eoin Morgan in the batting line up. He looked really good against the Aussies in the one day series and he has the ability to take the game away from the opposition. Having said that, I've never seen Taylor bat so let him have his chance...best luck to him, it's a tough series to make your debut...

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | July 29, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    How can the England selectors get it so consistently and appallingly wrong, yet still be in their jobs ?!

  • POSTED BY sirvivfan on | July 29, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    Good for Taylor and certainly deserves the call. Bopara dropping out for personal reasons to me suggests that he has taken very badly to all the criticism he has received in the press, public etc. Another Asian background player bites the dust. It is had to be an Asian player in the this set up.... You have to have very thick skin to survive unless you are South African who have wonderful background support. Good luck to Taylor in the 2nd test.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    Nick Compton is not considered for the same reason as Eion Morgan -- "too many foreigners", as RandyOz might readily point out!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    @RandyOz. The rumour mill says, Bopara drew excessive flack even from his team mates, for what is truly a "team failure". That too, when the test was still on! Sincerely hope, it is only a rumour; not the truth!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    @TeamSelector. Too many negative comments about the number of "foreigners' playing for England might have influenced the Team Selectors, in dropping Eoin Morgan. Bell is not only a pure bred Englishmen, but also proved his worth when KP started playing hide & seek about the shorter versions of international cricket.

  • POSTED BY PCMikey on | July 29, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    @wonderstar

    Headingley is not in the sub-continent

  • POSTED BY EnglishCricket on | July 29, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    I had a feeling this guy will be selected because his domestic performance is tremendous and he might just do the job for us.

  • POSTED BY EnglishCricket on | July 29, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @wonderstar1 - Just stop with this Bangladesh nonsense this is an England article and if you have a jealous problem with them then go and come it on their pages besides this Bangladesh beated England at last years World Cup so come up with a better claim -_-

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    I would prefer Morgan on any day of a test against any team.Lets see what this boy can do

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | July 29, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    I have watched Compton bat before and I would have picked him instead. He has the talent and temperament required for tests, kind of like the classic batsmen of the past era. England are digging their own grave with muddle headed squad combinations. Also Finn should come in place of Bresnan if they are to challenge the Saffas. Not that it will make a huge difference but atleast they would have a better chance.

  • POSTED BY StaalBurgher on | July 29, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Does this Taylor have many 2nd division scores? With a 1st class average of 48 why was he not picked ahead of Bopara in the first place?

  • POSTED BY AnotherCricketFan on | July 29, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    The one good comment I saw was about Swann by @Paul Rone-Clarke. He is over hyped. I do not see why he is being promoted this much - the best spinner in the world yada yada.

  • POSTED BY wonderstar1 on | July 29, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    doesn't matter who comes into the England squad, they all will struggle in sub-continental tracks except maybe they will win against very ordinary Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY MDean on | July 29, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    jonesy2, one criticism that cannot be levelled against Taylor is that "he doesn't look a good player". He looks a very good player. The test match arena will see whether there is sufficient substance behind the style. The England batting coach thinks there is: he has played more Test cricket than me - and perhaps you. Taylor will, of course, "be worked over and bullied". It's Test cricket and that's what always happens, so thank you for pointing out the blindingly obvious.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | July 29, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Alas poor Ravi!!...what next? I thought Taylor might be a good idea after the Oval. Strange though, i never expected it. But he does have a big match temperament, it seems.i hope he does well. Elsewise,people are looking to Finn as the new 'messiah'. Well he ain't got a beard, and his bowling in his last two tests has been okay but not staggering.I'm on the fence as to whether he should play but he has pace and it will be nice to see someone get the batsmen hurried.I'd expect Anderson still to be the main man though. Anyway hopefully we'll bite back and give SA a good thrashing. As for Compton- no way is 28 too old. Strauss & stewart started at 27. Age is not an issue for batsmen.

  • POSTED BY ian45 on | July 29, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    @That Pommie Guy, You 100% right about that, he will be back in the hut with your top and middle order

  • POSTED BY raoashishyadav on | July 29, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    i think morgan deserves that no. 6 slot. one bad series doesn't make you a bad player and i think woakes should be given a chance at no. 7 with prior moving up to no. 6

  • POSTED BY TeamSelector on | July 29, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    The #6 slot rightfully belongs to Eoin Morgan. One bad series against Saeed Ajmal & he was discarded. For the record, he wasn't the only that Ajmal bamboozled. Bell was Ajmal's bunny & he is still in the team. As far as the second Test goes ... when you are 1-0 down in a 3 Test series, you have no choice but to go for a win. To get a win you need 20 wickets. To get 20 wickets, logic would dictate that you go in with a '5 bowler' scenario. & here is the kicker ... I would have both Finn & Onions in my starting eleven.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    a good pick.good luck.he deserves this callup and will enhance the team

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | July 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    doesnt look a very good player he will be worked over and bullied in test cricket

  • POSTED BY MDean on | July 29, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    ben.p, suggest you ask Thorpe whom he recommends. Think you'll find it's a former Leicestershire man.

  • POSTED BY ChobeMonster on | July 29, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Long overdue. Should have picked ahead of Bairstow against WI, then he would be better prepared (and I said so at the time). Bopara fine in ODIs but not a test batsman.

    Now selectors should act on KP - drop him. IMO he played a big part in the failure of our first innings by getting out to a stupid shot exposing middle order to the new ball. Forget about rankings, lets get a proper test batsman in a no. 4. Compton?

  • POSTED BY PACERONE on | July 29, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    I am glad that Bopara will not be playing.Let's see which player is most blamed this time.It will not matter who England plays,it will depend on if the conditions help them and then change like it did against W.I.If Cook and Trott does not make runs it will be the same old story.

  • POSTED BY Thandiwe on | July 29, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Long overdue.

    We in Barbados absolutely believe in his talent. I predict that this is good not just for England but also for World cricket. A truly classy player.

  • POSTED BY threeslipsandagully on | July 29, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    @Darren Cook The England selectors' job is not to get distracted by silly minor technicalities like that, but to pick the best side available to them. Frankly I think Compton - the grandson of one of the greatest English cricketers ever and a Harrow School alumnus who didn't play a professional season outside of England until 2010 as an overseas player for Mashonaland in Zimbabwe - ought to feel hard done by here. There's no doubt that James Taylor is an excellent cricketer and a genuine England prospect, but Compton has outperformed him with the bat in both in 2011 and so far in 2012.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Pietersen needs to be dropped, and quickly. It's all "me me me". I would rather lose a couple of tests and bed in some team players than keep with that preening peacock. Compton is too old to be starting a career now, and there are many better players than him out there. Taylor is a decent start, but there are 3 or 4 more. Cooke, Bell, and Prior, Anderson and Finn are the only players that England should pencil in for beyond 2012. Trott..maybe. Broad (too hot and cold) Bresnan (lost a lot of pace) Swann (hardly turned a ball) Strauss (Poor form AND old), Pietersen (waste of space selfish player) and Bopara (not even close to test class) should all be ditched sooner rather than later. England need another class spinner if last week is as good as Swann is these days. Never looked like getting a wicket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    Interesting and surprising selection but if England really want to win this then they need to select pace bowler Finn and swap him for either Bresnan or Broad.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | July 29, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    I would have thought that, given the fact he is a South African, Compton would have been an absolute shoe in. Boy the talent is thin!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | July 29, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Personal reasons? Because he realised he wasnt good enough?

  • POSTED BY AdrianVanDenStael on | July 29, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    @ben.p.: I don't know from where you get the idea that David Gower was half the player Graham Thorpe was; they were both quality players in eras (unlike today) when they faced many very strong bowlers, most of said bowlers having a higher opinion of Gower than yours. @ Daniel Powell: a possble difference is that Jonathan Trott was not 'young and inexperienced' when picked for the Oval in 2009, he was 28, whereas Taylor is now 22.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | July 29, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    I have seen this guy in a couple of English county games on tv. Looked a very fine talent (lot better than Bopara or even Morgan). Since he is very young, needs an extended stay... Can't really judge him if he fails in two test matches against Steyn & co. and hope he is not praised to the nines if he is successful. A bit like India's Rahane.

  • POSTED BY fishface1971 on | July 29, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    Absolute joke....he's got lovely hair and he can run fast but that is about it.....Compton must be seething...

  • POSTED BY me54321 on | July 29, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Would loved to have seen Compton in there. We really could do with a number 6 who can stick around with Bell, and at least give us the chance of a game changing 5th wicket partnership.

  • POSTED BY Indian_Fan09 on | July 29, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Taylor deserved it! But would have preferred Nick Compton to get the nod!

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 29, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    @ThatPommyGuy You mean he'll get a pair? @Darren Cook Compton will play for England eventually. With his ancestry it would be a shame if he didn't @ian45 have you ever seen Taylor? Any Morkel/Steyn bouncers will go way over his head without him needing to ducK!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Man, gotta feel sorry for Compton! @ Pinnicle - surely the selectors wouldn't be concerned about playing another saffa?! Sure, he was born there, but I'm pretty certain as a Compton he could've been born on Mars and it wouldn't matter.

    Obviously they feel Taylor has what they're looking for, I guess. But TBH, the English batsmen (Bell, and in the first innings, Cook & Trott notwithstanding) didn't look up for a dogfight. Bopara missed a golden opportunity and both his dismissals were feeble, and Strauss's 2nd innings dismissal was nothing short of reckless - especially given the circumstances.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | July 29, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    @PureTom - 'personal reasons' means exactly what it says. It is not up to the ECB how the reasons for Bopara's unavailability are communicated. It is the player's decision and his alone.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    I'm guessing they have enough South African's in the team is why they haven't picked Compton, as last time

    I looked it is the England and Wales cricket team!

  • POSTED BY ThatPommyGuy on | July 29, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    If all goes to plan, Taylor won't even bat that much

  • POSTED BY MAK123 on | July 29, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    A very very timely decision to bring in James Taylor to the fold. I think he has all it takes to be a chanmpion batsman and I have never seen a batsman with a higher bat speed than Taylor. He has a long and successful career ahead of him and I wish him all the best. However, chances are, he might fail in the beginning and the English selectors will have to give him as many chances as they gave to Ravi Bopara and some of the other players. They must also try him in colored clothes.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 29, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    JMC - I agree. It might sound odd to place the blame on the batsmen after SA racked up 600-2, but it was soft dismissals that gave away such a strong position after the first day. Trott and KP in particular in the first innings were really frustrating, and they opened the door for SA's bowlers to run through us under helpful conditions on the second morning. Since the UAE our batting has struggled to regain the authority it had against the Aussies and India (which would show that Pakistan and SA have a higher quality attack), and Gooch and Flower have got their hands full trying to sort it out. I think Woakes at 7 may have been the better way to go - he adds so much to the team in both batting and bowling, and would allow you to bring in Finn for either Bresnan or Broad (most likely Bresnan) without weakening the batting too much.

  • POSTED BY ben.p. on | July 29, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    What more does Nick Compton have to do to get selected for England? Ah, I get it! Taylor is the new 'golden boy', from whom the selectors just needed a couple of decent scores to put in the side. Like with David Gower before him, watch him fail more often than he succeeds but still get endlessly picked until somebody finally finds the willpower to stop the nonsense. 'He's such a classy player' was the habitual defence, but Gower rarely played an individually decisive innings for England. Compton, on the other hand, has the temperament of a Test player - he's the leading scorer in the Championship for goodness' sake! If you're looking for another Graham Thorpe - and who isn't? - he's the man.

  • POSTED BY Mistress76uk on | July 29, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    Everyone should be given the chance to play for England if they are showing signs of promise. Yes, James Taylor is young, but then so was Alastair Cook when he started out, and look at him now. Young talent needs to be nurtured and given an opportunity.

  • POSTED BY Interzod on | July 29, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    A good call but what does Nick Compton need to do to get into the squad? Maybe they are worried about playing another saffa?!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    I very, very highly rate James Taylor, but at first I was questioning bringing such a young and inexperienced batsman in at such a pivotal moment in the series. Then I remembered the last time England brought in a new face at a pivotal moment - Jonathan Trott, who has cemented his place in the side as England's most consistent batsman and the most solid England no. 3 since......Well, ever?

    All the best to him. He's quality stuff. I do like Ravi, but you've got to question his merit in the side. He's a good batsman, but he's only that - good, and his bowling isn't really required in tests. Much better to have a proper batsman in. Hales would be a good pick too. Hales and Prior down the order could be horrifyingly destructive. Bairstow...Yes, but give him another couple of years in county.

  • POSTED BY ian45 on | July 29, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    WOW England do you actually believe you can take us on, cant wait to see your newbie face Steyn And Morkel, better make sure your helmet is fastened bud

  • POSTED BY HawK89 on | July 29, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    If James does well, Ravi won't even be considered anymore.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    @SagirParkar, no! Justice would be done if the South African's Trott and Pietersen were dropped for not being English!

    Unless the pitch is a minefield FIVE bowlers is a must if we are to beat the South Africans.

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | July 29, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Taylor scores one ton this season (avg 36) and is in the squad? Woakes has hit two tons (back to back avg 81) and taken 19 wickets at 21.

    What more does he has to do?

    If not Woakes then surely Compton or Hildreth would be a better bet?

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Obviously Compon's face doesn't fit - he averages (2012) over twice what Taylor has averaged and although he is not a natural number 6 I feel that he is the sort of guy who would give us some stability. Having said that maybe the horse has already bolted as we probably need a player who pushes the game forward. Woakes is probably another player who could be tried at 6. His batting and bowling have been extremely impressive and him and Clarke have often come in when Warwicks have been struggling and turned the game around rather than just scoring easier runs on top of what the top order have done. I guess though that being a bowler (mainly) will limit your opportunities to play for England. I obviously hope they'll go 5/1/5 but I feel they'll continue with 6/1/4 until/if it pays off which maybe after we've slid down the table

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    I was shouting for Taylor before the Windies series. I like Bairstow, but he isn't a test player. Bairstow will have a long ODI and T20I career

  • POSTED BY SCC08 on | July 29, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    I'm shocked that the ECB have picked Taylor ahead of their normal procedure.. i.e. - pick another South African. Compton must feel very unlucky. LOL

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 29, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    A surprising selection, considering Taylor's hardly been in flying form for quite a while now. Having said that, he is easily one of the best young batsmen around the country, so I'm not unhappy with it at all. Compton would have been the safer choice mind you - an older, more experienced head and a good player of quick bowling, and tough as nails to get out. He doesn't fit in with Flower and Strauss' tactics of having an aggressive player down at six though - Taylor's not a boundary hitter in the Bairstow mould, but he's busy and can run you ragged. Compton is still only likely to get a chance if one of the top 4 goes down injured or loses form, rightly or wrongly. Personally I think it's the right choice - I'd much rather see him in at 3 than 6, but he does deserve a chance soon! I'd have been massively tempted to move Prior up to six and bring in Woakes at seven though, if I was a selector.

  • POSTED BY PureTom on | July 29, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    The ECB needs to take a leaf out of Australia's new book and communicate selection better. Even if the players are fully aware of the situation the "personal reasons" line is used too much in cricket to be taken very seriously by the fans. While this might be an improved selection (I don't know), Bopara needs a clear indication if he is in or out of the team and if in he needs to be persisted with. He is a confidence player who currently has none, he needs the chance to build some.

  • POSTED BY lachie-creightos on | July 29, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    How many more runs does Nick Compton need to score to even get considered.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    i just don't understand why england is keeps changing no 6 player........morgan deserves this place.......his record is descent.........& i hope he will improve a lot in d future......england should stop searching it.......morgan is perfect for dat spot........

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @Siva Silattur Kumar on (July 29 2012, 08:44 AM GMT) My understanding is that RB has been asked not to be considered - so his choice.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | July 29, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Only a few years back Bopara was considered to be England's solution to their #3 problem. Then he opted out of the IPL to play for England. A century from Eoin Morgan in a practice match sidelined Bopara regardless of his form and sacrifice. Now he has become England's Rohit Sharma.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 29, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    This does make for an interesting situation. There have been a number of people calling for Taylor's selection for some time, even if his performance didn't necessarily always warrant it. There have also been a number of people calling for 5 bowlers to be included (one in particular very loudly and often, you know who you are). With Taylor for Bopara the only change, one of those two factions will get their wish in the second Test. Could Taylor finally be the man to make the #6 spot his own? Debuting against an SA team who can smell the #1 ranking is a tough ask though. If they do go with 5 bowlers and it works then will they look at doing so regularly? I wouldn't look at Finn as a saviour whether part of a 4- or 5-man attack but even one more breakthrough could have meant a way in for all the bowlers so his extra pace could be what makes the whole attack click. It would take some improvement from all the bowlers though, and some batsmen stepping up wouldn't hurt either.

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | July 29, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    ohh dear lord.. justice finally done.. i was secretly hoping that Taylor gets a look in ahead of Hales or Bairstow... Woakes might have been a good pick as well giving the team the balance of playing both an extra bat and a bowler.. like to see Taylor do well.. all the best to him !

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Was Bopara secretly dropped for playing very badly, scoring 0 and 22 and taking 0/78 when he was a fringe player in the first place?

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    I dont understand 'personal issues'?is it personal to Ravi or England team

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Finally, the decision that I was shouting for!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Finally, the decision that I was shouting for!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    I dont understand 'personal issues'?is it personal to Ravi or England team

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Was Bopara secretly dropped for playing very badly, scoring 0 and 22 and taking 0/78 when he was a fringe player in the first place?

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | July 29, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    ohh dear lord.. justice finally done.. i was secretly hoping that Taylor gets a look in ahead of Hales or Bairstow... Woakes might have been a good pick as well giving the team the balance of playing both an extra bat and a bowler.. like to see Taylor do well.. all the best to him !

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 29, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    This does make for an interesting situation. There have been a number of people calling for Taylor's selection for some time, even if his performance didn't necessarily always warrant it. There have also been a number of people calling for 5 bowlers to be included (one in particular very loudly and often, you know who you are). With Taylor for Bopara the only change, one of those two factions will get their wish in the second Test. Could Taylor finally be the man to make the #6 spot his own? Debuting against an SA team who can smell the #1 ranking is a tough ask though. If they do go with 5 bowlers and it works then will they look at doing so regularly? I wouldn't look at Finn as a saviour whether part of a 4- or 5-man attack but even one more breakthrough could have meant a way in for all the bowlers so his extra pace could be what makes the whole attack click. It would take some improvement from all the bowlers though, and some batsmen stepping up wouldn't hurt either.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | July 29, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Only a few years back Bopara was considered to be England's solution to their #3 problem. Then he opted out of the IPL to play for England. A century from Eoin Morgan in a practice match sidelined Bopara regardless of his form and sacrifice. Now he has become England's Rohit Sharma.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @Siva Silattur Kumar on (July 29 2012, 08:44 AM GMT) My understanding is that RB has been asked not to be considered - so his choice.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    i just don't understand why england is keeps changing no 6 player........morgan deserves this place.......his record is descent.........& i hope he will improve a lot in d future......england should stop searching it.......morgan is perfect for dat spot........

  • POSTED BY lachie-creightos on | July 29, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    How many more runs does Nick Compton need to score to even get considered.

  • POSTED BY PureTom on | July 29, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    The ECB needs to take a leaf out of Australia's new book and communicate selection better. Even if the players are fully aware of the situation the "personal reasons" line is used too much in cricket to be taken very seriously by the fans. While this might be an improved selection (I don't know), Bopara needs a clear indication if he is in or out of the team and if in he needs to be persisted with. He is a confidence player who currently has none, he needs the chance to build some.