England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Cardiff May 21, 2011

Bopara favourite for Test position

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More than four months after completing England's finest achievement in many years by retaining the Ashes 3-1 in Australia, the majority of Andrew Strauss's Test squad will reconvene for the first match of summer which, if it goes well, will put England on course for the No. 1 ranking.

Nine of the team that completed the innings-and-83-run victory in Sydney will line-up in Cardiff to face Sri Lanka. The two who won't be there are the retired Paul Collingwood and the injured Tim Bresnan and their replacements have been the only real debates for the selectors ahead of naming a 12-man squad.

There has been plenty of time to consider who will fill Collingwood's shoes in the middle order and the signs point strongly to Ravi Bopara. He didn't make the most of his first innings for the Lions in Derby when he fell for 17, but the feeling is that the decision had already been made. That also means that Eoin Morgan's 193 came too late, although it was a commanding innings that showed his immense natural ability.

Bopara, though, has gained credit for the decisions he has made in recent months, most notably declining two IPL offers to remain with Essex. After overcoming a tricky start to the season he has made two Championship hundreds and, importantly, bowled plenty of overs to develop his second-string.

Meanwhile, Morgan played nine Twenty20 innings over six weeks but then waltzed into the Lions and looked as though he'd been playing first-class cricket for months. In many ways it would have made the selectors' job easier had Morgan failed (or at least not scored a near double hundred). Morgan has now indicated he will return to the IPL if he isn't selected in the Test squad, a move that could well raise a few eyebrows. He will look particularly bad if someone breaks a finger on Wednesday and he's back in India.

The choice of pace-bowling cover could be one of a few impressive performers from the early stages of the domestic season. Given that Bresnan's Ashes role was to pitch the ball up and find swing, Ajmal Shahzad is the likeliest option and has impressed the selectors with his work ethic over the winter. It shows the depth currently available that Steven Finn, who played three Ashes Tests and all of last summer, has slipped down the pecking order.

Below those two the return of Graham Onions is being very closely monitored although it would be dangerous to rush him back too soon from such a serious injury, while Jade Dernbach is making significant strides as he showed with 5 for 44 against the Sri Lankans.

It all means that none of the pace bowlers who do play can afford to coast. The most under pressure could well be Stuart Broad, England's new Twenty20 captain, as he returns to the Test side after injury. Firstly he has to show his body isn't becoming brittle, but also that he can contribute significant hauls. Currently he has 99 Test wickets at 35, a number that has to start coming down.

The other player with plenty of eyes on him will be Kevin Pietersen. After recovering from his double hernia he has played two matches for Surrey (one an innings defeat against Cambridge University) and it's a crucial summer for him if he really wants to regain his standing as England's premier batsman. The selectors showed they were willing to drop him from the one-day side last year and Andy Flower isn't one to accept passengers.

Possible squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Ajmal Shahzad

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Right now, Morgan > Bopara as a batsman ( lefty is just pure class )

    I would try Hildreth ahead of Bopara as well.

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | May 22, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    One really wonders, why it is so tough for english selectors to give youngsters a chance? you always have the same players getting back into test side every other season......it seems like Ian Bell,they want to keep giving him a chance till he finally succeeds!

    Are there no young batsmen who can make their debut?

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | May 22, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer: Looking at the results by England since 1 Jan 2009, they have played only 14 meaningful test matches and won Ashes twice and drew against SA, but their win-loss ratio is 6:3 with 5 draws. That's an above-average record, that's it considering how pathetic Aussies are in last four years, with Ponting also not playing well since 2007. England loses 1 match for every 2 important wins. Other than that, they have played 15 matches against WI, Pak and Bangladesh. And, England fans are over excited still with Ashes win. 2005 Ashes win was really wonderful as they beat Aussie legends, after that, England is just superior over Aussies, that's it. Reaching no.1 ranking is thus far ahead, it's good to aim at, but constant chatting about reaching no.1 is not good unless they perform really well against better teams this season, albeit at home. Let us see what future brings to us but please do not overestimate England team and get disappointed.

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Bopara over Morgan is a stupid decision. Morgan is a class act - Bopara not so much :(

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    I seriously fail to understand human thought process. I was angry, and could understand why people used to bash India even in some irrelevant blogs. I feel embarrassed by some of the comments from my fellow countrymen (fellow Indians) saying "England will bash SL" blah blah blah.. Certain degree of humility from us would without any doubt enhance our reputation as a great champion. Anyways, back to the subject, just because Bopara ditched IPL for test matches does not make him a better player. Also, I believe Bopara was given ample chances in the past. I may be wrong though. If he was tried and tested, I would be inclined towards a better player.

  • POSTED BY TheFridge31 on | May 22, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Gary you sum it up there....i wouldn't have Bopara anywhere near the test team , it seems his medium pacers are giving him a big edge.

    If the selectors dont want to go with Morgan please get Hildreth in at 6 im sure he would do well and certainly deserves a chance.

    I think Woakes is going to have a big future in the test team but it is probably a little to early for him he has plenty of time on his side

  • POSTED BY Gary_111 on | May 21, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    To the commenters that say Bopara is a better player of spin / better in subcontinental conditions (even though the match is in Cardiff) - Bopara played 3 matches in Sri Lanka - and averaged 8 with the bat! His bowling isn't much use either: 10 Tests so far and only 1 wicket to show for it.

  • POSTED BY katandthat3 on | May 21, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    Bopara is a handy cricketer but Morgan is a class act. This early in the summer Bopara's seamers could be handy and maybe with Prior at 7 they feel they'll have enough batting but Morgan is the long term player and if England were serious he'd be in there now from this test onwards.

  • POSTED BY RAVI_BOPARA on | May 21, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    BOPARA WILL BE IN... BOPARA WILL BE ENGLANDS LEADING RUN SCORER IN THIS SERIES!!!!

  • POSTED BY Kristen_Ali on | May 21, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Bopara should be given the role as he has shown determination to reject IPL contracts, also he has score 2 centuries this years in difficult conditions, which have saved Essex from defeat. He is also a decent bowler(clocked at around 78-82 mph) and I have met him and he is a very nice person. Best of luck to him

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Right now, Morgan > Bopara as a batsman ( lefty is just pure class )

    I would try Hildreth ahead of Bopara as well.

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | May 22, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    One really wonders, why it is so tough for english selectors to give youngsters a chance? you always have the same players getting back into test side every other season......it seems like Ian Bell,they want to keep giving him a chance till he finally succeeds!

    Are there no young batsmen who can make their debut?

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | May 22, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer: Looking at the results by England since 1 Jan 2009, they have played only 14 meaningful test matches and won Ashes twice and drew against SA, but their win-loss ratio is 6:3 with 5 draws. That's an above-average record, that's it considering how pathetic Aussies are in last four years, with Ponting also not playing well since 2007. England loses 1 match for every 2 important wins. Other than that, they have played 15 matches against WI, Pak and Bangladesh. And, England fans are over excited still with Ashes win. 2005 Ashes win was really wonderful as they beat Aussie legends, after that, England is just superior over Aussies, that's it. Reaching no.1 ranking is thus far ahead, it's good to aim at, but constant chatting about reaching no.1 is not good unless they perform really well against better teams this season, albeit at home. Let us see what future brings to us but please do not overestimate England team and get disappointed.

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Bopara over Morgan is a stupid decision. Morgan is a class act - Bopara not so much :(

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    I seriously fail to understand human thought process. I was angry, and could understand why people used to bash India even in some irrelevant blogs. I feel embarrassed by some of the comments from my fellow countrymen (fellow Indians) saying "England will bash SL" blah blah blah.. Certain degree of humility from us would without any doubt enhance our reputation as a great champion. Anyways, back to the subject, just because Bopara ditched IPL for test matches does not make him a better player. Also, I believe Bopara was given ample chances in the past. I may be wrong though. If he was tried and tested, I would be inclined towards a better player.

  • POSTED BY TheFridge31 on | May 22, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Gary you sum it up there....i wouldn't have Bopara anywhere near the test team , it seems his medium pacers are giving him a big edge.

    If the selectors dont want to go with Morgan please get Hildreth in at 6 im sure he would do well and certainly deserves a chance.

    I think Woakes is going to have a big future in the test team but it is probably a little to early for him he has plenty of time on his side

  • POSTED BY Gary_111 on | May 21, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    To the commenters that say Bopara is a better player of spin / better in subcontinental conditions (even though the match is in Cardiff) - Bopara played 3 matches in Sri Lanka - and averaged 8 with the bat! His bowling isn't much use either: 10 Tests so far and only 1 wicket to show for it.

  • POSTED BY katandthat3 on | May 21, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    Bopara is a handy cricketer but Morgan is a class act. This early in the summer Bopara's seamers could be handy and maybe with Prior at 7 they feel they'll have enough batting but Morgan is the long term player and if England were serious he'd be in there now from this test onwards.

  • POSTED BY RAVI_BOPARA on | May 21, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    BOPARA WILL BE IN... BOPARA WILL BE ENGLANDS LEADING RUN SCORER IN THIS SERIES!!!!

  • POSTED BY Kristen_Ali on | May 21, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Bopara should be given the role as he has shown determination to reject IPL contracts, also he has score 2 centuries this years in difficult conditions, which have saved Essex from defeat. He is also a decent bowler(clocked at around 78-82 mph) and I have met him and he is a very nice person. Best of luck to him

  • POSTED BY avidfan on | May 21, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    lol gaurav...india has fair selections..wat a joke......indian playyers are undr constant pressure..like a pressure cooker or worse...

    but yes i agree taht SL bowling is depleted..they should play kaushal silva instead of p.jayawardena..much better batting prospect an good keeper as well..

    also bowling wise they should give nuwan pradeep a chacne

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | May 21, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    @ cranaweera - how on earth can you compare a 20 over competition to a first class one?! Completely different demands and approaches are needed. Let's compare the two - playing in a 20 over slog on flat wickets as to playing on difficult pitches in the same conditions the tests will be played in. What do you think is better preparation? You underestimate the CC anyway. Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Steven Davies - recent England or England Lion players all, with many more either former and future international players - play in division 2, so to call it mediocre is rubbish. After all that, I'd personally agree with you and go with Morgan! But I can see the argument for Bopara. This will be Bopara's last chance at test level, at least for a while, if he gets picked and doesn't take it though

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    Englishmen to beat Lankans...that's for Sure...Can't see anyone apart from Sanga, Jaya, Dilshan and Samaraweera play quality swing bowling. Anderson will be more than handful for them. Sanga and Jaya have to play out of their skins. Bowling is Lanka's weak link. Wondering what's gonna happen in the India-England series. Just want Sachin to get that elusive Lords Hundred. Viru should return by that time. Viru, Gauti, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Yuvi/Pujara/Raina, Dhoni, Bhajji, Zaheer, Sreesanth, Ishant. That would be a good test team line up. You can also try and replace Sree with Praveen Kumar if its a good swinging condition. Ishant on current form can't be dropped. Hitting speeds of 140+ regularly is a good sign. Come On India!!

  • POSTED BY NaveenKumarHA on | May 21, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    Morgan is better than bopara, he was in good form in IPL and scored a big century against lanka so lankan players may be scared of him... I think KP will lead the run most run scorer map

  • POSTED BY SRT_GENIUS on | May 21, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Bopara is better in sub-continent conditions

  • POSTED BY Gary_111 on | May 21, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    @manish053 Its not just off one innings - he was reserve batsman in the Ashes squad, so was considered better than Bopara then, and hasn't done anything wrong since!

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Gaurav Phutela

    That does not make India unbeatable, Sri lanka also have very good test batsmen in Sanga, Mahela, Thilan and Dilshan. Its really gonna be up to Zaheer and other pace bowlers to get 20 wickets, which is the difference between the two sides. India are capable of taking 20 wickets, Sri Lanka are not.

  • POSTED BY lonmar06 on | May 21, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    I would prefer if they dropped Pietersen and had Morgan & Bopara in the side tbh, I think that England would be a stronger side with those two rather than Pietersen, but I highly doubt that the selectors would go that route and the pace bowling I would have Anderson, Tremlett & Shahzad, I would leave Broad out because he has found it hard getting wickets in the county championship, and with all due respect to the players on the circuit there aren't any Sangakarra's, Dilshan's and Jayawardene's there

  • POSTED BY Godfather007 on | May 21, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Weird decision if they leave Morgan out who possesses outstanding cricketing brain like Michael Hussey.Bopara on the other hand hasnt done anything substantial to stake a claim for his place in the side.

  • POSTED BY sgh142 on | May 21, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Room for Bopara and Morgan, Pietersen to go. Has been poor for Surrey 2nd's and failed on a flat deck vs Essex, .....again. How much longer will Flower keep faith with this player?

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    yep, a wise choice although i would prefer Morgan against Aussie and ravi against Sl. He is a better player of spin. Morgan cannot make big runs unless he learns to play spin well. Even prior can be replaced by Tim Ambrose. Although Matt is at his best, can he over come the SL spinners. My English team would be Strauss, Cook,Trott, Kevin, Bell, Ravi, Prior, Broad, Swan, Anderson, Tremlet.

    Note : A bowler short, can ravi bowl 10 good overs. ??????? or Eng play 4 quicks

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | May 21, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Just one note. Surey were not beaten by an innings by Cambridge. They just avoided the innings defeat, but Cambridge University had to make just 4 to win and did without loss. Bopara v Morgan? I have grave doubts about Morgan in the longer form of the game. He should always play T20 and ODIs, but he has never been a heavy scorer in the longer form of the game and was not regarded even by insiders at Middlesex as a likely success at Test level. His decision to return to the IPL has caused quite a few raised eyebrows in the Middlesex dressing room, I believe. I think though that if it is really Ravi Bopara this will be his last chance. He'll bat in his natural position at 6 and, if he fails against Sri Lanka, it is most likely that the selectors will go with someone like Hildreth or the half dozen other young candidates to play against India. Btw, what is so outlandish about England reaching #1? You get the results, you reach #1. England have won every series bar one draw over 2 years.

  • POSTED BY CricSamraat on | May 21, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    England selectors will be setting themselves for a BIG MEDIA HUMILIATION were England to lose with Eoin Morgan not picked for the playing eleven. Why do these selectors not want the players making money in IPL? Do they want Eoin Morgan to be at their beck and call to qualify for the Test Squad? Only criteria should be : 1. Current Form, 2. Past Performance Record if applicable, 3. Comportment as a member of the teams he has played for in the past. Nothing else should matter. If the selectors can not do their job because of their Mount Everest-size egos, they should vacate their jobs.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    What is with Andrew McGlashan? He goes on and on and on about Bopara. During the switch hit , Bopara. In the two previous articles he has written , significant mention of Bopara. And now a whole ARTICLE devoted exclusively to Bopara? We get your point , Andrew , now quiet please and leave it to the selectors!

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | May 21, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    @David Mammen; "i honestly think England's batting is too light weight!" What a very odd comment!!! Didn't you notice Cook (average 127), Trott (89), Prior (50), Strauss (44), Bell (65), KP (60) in The Ashes? Anyway, here on Earth, the England selectors have an embarressment of riches. It would be a major poke in the eye if Morgan didn't get the nod in front of Bopara. Big shout !@phoenixsteve - welcome back!!! As for you @jonesy2 - just carry on talking to yourself, we all love it over here in England.

  • POSTED BY Last_Wicket on | May 21, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    @David Mammen: How can you consider Strauss, Cook, Trott, Pietersen and Bell batting to be lightweight. Everyone of them has proved themselves at test level. Add either Morgan or Bopara will make a strong line up. Whoever gets the nod between them will make the batting stronger than with Collingwood over the last 6 months. The only player that could make it stronger than those would be Trescothick, but unfortunately he retired.

  • POSTED BY jokerbala on | May 21, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Anybody who has seen them bat, will know that Eoin Morgan is a much more fluent batsman than Bopara. Selecting Ravi Bopara ahead of Eoin Morgan would mean that anybody who misses IPL for the english domestic season would be given preference(which is not right). Besides I don't think Kevin Pietersen is back to his best , so there may be room for both Morgan and Bopara in the team.

  • POSTED BY crikbuff on | May 21, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    ECB should use this opportunuity to send a strong message. If Eoin Morgan wasts to play test cricket, he should respect (1) England's domestic structure and (2) first class cricket. If Morgan is keen on playing test cricket, he has to show intent by playing for his county. By catching the next flight to Kolkata, he is merely showing that he is in it only for the money, and does not give priority to test cricket. He does not deserve a test spot.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    daydreaming,,,england can not be at no. 1 untill,,they make fair selections,, and have batters like sachin, dravid ,laxman, sehwag.

  • POSTED BY manish053 on | May 21, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    can not defy morgon's innings but u can never choose a player on one innings particularly where you have better options. Ravi bopara however is not doing well but his skills is fit to be a member of squad and Enlgland can not foget his conribution in last few tours eventually decesion to have bopra is correct.

  • POSTED BY Gary_111 on | May 21, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    There was no room for sentiment when England dropped Finn for Bresnan in Melbourne, if they are serious about becoming the number 1 team they should remain ruthless.

    Bopara failed against Australia, while Morgan has taken to international cricket. Selecting Bopara would be a retrograde step and with perfect timing Morgan demonstrated the difference in their respective abilities. Bopara as shown he is hungry and he wants the England place, which is commendable, but Morgan is simply better.

    I very much hope the selectors reconsider.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | May 21, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    I dont think the IPL has to do with anything on this decision, its a free world and you cant dock guys for playing IPL, after all its their living. The point is Morgan was given shot at test cricket and did really well and a result was picked for the Ashes. His didnt get a chance there but his next chance was against SL and he gets 193 and you dont want to pick him - that would be just plain wrong. Bopara was given a chance and failed. Morgan hasnt failed yet.

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | May 21, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    Nice to see the England selectors with some tough decisions to make and all becuase of too much talent! I'm for playing both Bopara and Morgan and leaving out KP. I'd rather have Morgan (in form) as my attacking option and it's up to KP to earn his place. Controversial I know...... My 11 would be Strauss, Cooke, Bell, Bopara, Morgan, Trott, Prior, Swann, Anderson, Broad, Tremlett with Woakes carrying the drinks! Let"s hope that the Loins attack can do the job again and set up a memorable win. This is going to be a great summer (weather permitting) COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    Ravi Bopara has improved as a cricketer immensely over the past 1 year and deserves another crack at test cricket. Eoin Morgan too is a fantastic player as he has showcased when playing for England in the shorter formats but not sure whether he is ready for test cricket as of now.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    i honestly think England's batting is too light weight!

  • POSTED BY abhishek.jajoo on | May 21, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    Bopara over morganis a wise choice ..as ECB want their players to perform in the domestic competition so as to get a look in the national side rather than IPL.....specially wen we see they have a long summer to be played in England...not a great choice made by Morgan though....

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | May 21, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    The IPL is far more competitive than Country cricket in England. The experience that Morgan gained is thus far more important than what Bopara gained playing against mediocre county players. Bopara may have played his cards better, but purely from a cricketing point of view, it does not make any sense.

  • POSTED BY OCMills on | May 21, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Im very surprised at this. Morgan was the next in waiting, he has being facing sub continent bowling and has scored 193 against test opposition!!

    Bopara has being facing 2nd division and got a scratchy 17 against the test match opposition.

    Personally I feel the decision should be between Bopara and whether to drop Pietersen to let him recover properly from his operation before the India game.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | May 21, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    haha number 1 ranking, they cant and never will get there. having someone like bopara coming into the team just sums up how much talent england lack

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | May 21, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    After the test matches, let us see what Bopara's supporters and England selectors say about this!

  • POSTED BY nathangonmad on | May 21, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Stupid. Eoin is clearly in form and should be picked. Don't get me wrong Ravis also a great player but come on, guy almost gets a double hundred in a lions match and they don't pick him. Typical.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Again, which selector, which coach, which captain, has said that bopara is the favourite??? no one has anounced he is the favourite , why does everyone think this, they arent gonna care that morgan was at IPL, they know his ability and they know bopara's, morgan now re-affirmed this with his 193 vs sri lanka. Bopara's bowling should not be a factor, if they want an allrounder they need to choose samit patel as he is the premier allrounder. Also only reason broad is there is his allround ability as he avg's 27 with the bat in tests(which is very handy) this helps him get into the XI ahead of dernbach, finn etc. Tho the fact that graeme swann is also a handy allrounder and that prior at 7 is someone good enough to be there as specialist number 5 or 6 batsman, the extra batting of broad shouldnt be crucial.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    morgan is better than bopara. he proved himself in test cricket.he is the next KP of english cricket

  • POSTED BY velvlol on | May 21, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Woakes needs to be pushed into the Test team.. He can bat at 7 and gives England 5 bowlers.. He is in great form, scored centuries and taken 5 wicket hauls already this county season!!! Strauss, Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Prior, Woakes, Broad, Swann, Tremlett, Anderson!

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  • POSTED BY velvlol on | May 21, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Woakes needs to be pushed into the Test team.. He can bat at 7 and gives England 5 bowlers.. He is in great form, scored centuries and taken 5 wicket hauls already this county season!!! Strauss, Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Prior, Woakes, Broad, Swann, Tremlett, Anderson!

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    morgan is better than bopara. he proved himself in test cricket.he is the next KP of english cricket

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Again, which selector, which coach, which captain, has said that bopara is the favourite??? no one has anounced he is the favourite , why does everyone think this, they arent gonna care that morgan was at IPL, they know his ability and they know bopara's, morgan now re-affirmed this with his 193 vs sri lanka. Bopara's bowling should not be a factor, if they want an allrounder they need to choose samit patel as he is the premier allrounder. Also only reason broad is there is his allround ability as he avg's 27 with the bat in tests(which is very handy) this helps him get into the XI ahead of dernbach, finn etc. Tho the fact that graeme swann is also a handy allrounder and that prior at 7 is someone good enough to be there as specialist number 5 or 6 batsman, the extra batting of broad shouldnt be crucial.

  • POSTED BY nathangonmad on | May 21, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Stupid. Eoin is clearly in form and should be picked. Don't get me wrong Ravis also a great player but come on, guy almost gets a double hundred in a lions match and they don't pick him. Typical.

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | May 21, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    After the test matches, let us see what Bopara's supporters and England selectors say about this!

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | May 21, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    haha number 1 ranking, they cant and never will get there. having someone like bopara coming into the team just sums up how much talent england lack

  • POSTED BY OCMills on | May 21, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Im very surprised at this. Morgan was the next in waiting, he has being facing sub continent bowling and has scored 193 against test opposition!!

    Bopara has being facing 2nd division and got a scratchy 17 against the test match opposition.

    Personally I feel the decision should be between Bopara and whether to drop Pietersen to let him recover properly from his operation before the India game.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | May 21, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    The IPL is far more competitive than Country cricket in England. The experience that Morgan gained is thus far more important than what Bopara gained playing against mediocre county players. Bopara may have played his cards better, but purely from a cricketing point of view, it does not make any sense.

  • POSTED BY abhishek.jajoo on | May 21, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    Bopara over morganis a wise choice ..as ECB want their players to perform in the domestic competition so as to get a look in the national side rather than IPL.....specially wen we see they have a long summer to be played in England...not a great choice made by Morgan though....

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    i honestly think England's batting is too light weight!