England news June 26, 2014

Bopara 'empty' at Test non-selection

  shares 25

Ravi Bopara admitted he woke up feeling empty the day after England's ODI series against Sri Lanka finished.

While Bopara still cherishes playing for Essex, he has tasted life on the bigger stage and knows that little else compares to the thrill of representing England. Waking in his hotel room the day after the ODI series ended knowing that he wouldn't be required for the Investec Test series against Sri Lanka was, he says, "a huge anti-climax".

"A lot of the other lads were going off to prepare for the Test series," Bopara told ESPNcricinfo. "They were excited. They were talking about it. They still had a buzz. And I wasn't involved. I woke up feeling this hole inside me knowing that England was over for me for a bit and I was going back to county cricket. It's really hard to accept.

"Look, I love playing for Essex. I really do. But there's nothing like playing for England. It's the ultimate. And once you've experienced it, it's very hard to accept anything less."

But Bopara accepts that his Test form has not been adequate to warrant his continued selection. While there were, as he puts it, "glimpses" of what he can do, an average of 31.94 after 13 Tests is modest for one so talented.

"I feel frustrated," he says. "I've not been able to show my full potential to a wider audience. I was doing OK, but then the Ashes of 2009 didn't go well for me and I haven't got back in for any length of time.

"I've shown glimpses. But I know I haven't done myself justice and I really want to do it. I mean, I really want it. I want to play innings people remember. I know I can do that and I would love another opportunity. But there's no point hoping or moaning. I've got to make sure I do it by scoring heavily in county cricket and making it impossible for them not to pick me."

Such passion may seem at odds with the image of Bopara as laid-back to the point of being comatose. But whatever he used to be like, he feels the experience of spending time with successful people from outside the world of cricket has given him greater perspective and better tools for coping with the stresses and strains of life.

"I've been disorganised in the past," he says. "That's true. But it is the past. I'm working harder than ever now. I did feel, for a while, as if I lost all my energy. But I've rediscovered that. I'm honestly more determined and focused than ever.

"I was very lucky to spend some time with some successful people outside cricket," he says. "I don't want to say who they were, but I'm talking about business people. It wasn't organised by Essex or the ECB. It just happened, really, and it's lucky that it did.

"They showed me the habits and characteristics successful people need to have. They showed me how organised you have to be and how calm they were under pressure. They were so determined and so positive and the whole experience made me a better cricketer and a better, more honourable man. Why? Because now, if I say I'm going to do something, I do it. I've learned a lot."

"The experience made me a better cricketer and a better, more honourable man. Now, if I say I'm going to do something, I do it."

Bopara's last experience with the Test team ended after the first Test of the series against South Africa in 2012 when, for personal reasons, he felt a need to take a break from cricket.

"Being a cricketer is not like a normal job," he says. "If you work in an office you might leave home early in the morning and be back late at night, I know. But we go away for months at a time and that can cause a lot of problems. The schedule isn't conducive to normal family life. If there's something going on that needs sorting at home, well you've got to go and sort it."

But no-one should mistake Bopara's decision as a demonstration of any lack of commitment. "It's not exactly that I put cricket before anything else, it's just that it is who I am," he says. "Cricket makes me who I am. It's more than what I do; it's what I am. So it is number one for me. Family is more important, of course, but I wouldn't be me if I wasn't a cricketer. It's a non-negotiable part of my life. I have to put it first."

As one of the few men in the England set-up who developed as a player solely in the UK and without the help of the private school system, Bopara might also have a role in inspiring the next generation of young players into the game.

"There is so much talent out there," he says at a Chance to Shine event in Birmingham. "And there is so much love for the game. I was lucky in that my mum and dad played a massive part in my development. They took me to games, they encouraged me to train. They did whatever needed doing and I wouldn't have made it without them. Parents are the key.

"But role-models have a huge part to play, too. There has been a bit of a shortage of players from West Indian circles in the English game in recent years, so it's great to see Chris Jordan coming through. He is going to be a big star and hopefully he can encourage a lot more kids to play the game.

"Can I do that, too? I'd like to. I really would. I'm seeing a lot more kids from ethnic backgrounds in the grounds and if I can inspire one or two to take up the game, well, that would be brilliant."

Chance to Shine ambassador Ravi Bopara was visiting Bishop Challoner Catholic College for Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week. Thousands of Chance to Shine schools all over the country enjoyed cricket-themed activities in the classroom and the playground. Visit www.chancetoshine.org to find out more and donate.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY imtiazjaleel on | June 29, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    I think Bopara is not mentally strong. He always failed to win the match for England despite getting so many opportunities to finish the games.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Ravi has probably missed his boat I'd reckon, what with Moeen and Stokes BOTH impressing that no.6 batting allrounder spot has set sail. England may even end up playing both of those guys at 5 and 6 and there is no way Ravi is going to push them out either with bat or ball. Just thinking about it, if England could get their best 4 bowlers sorted out Moeen and Stokes could round out a mightily impressive attack. I like Ravi but I'm not sure he'd be able to offer more than some of these really talented younger blokes coming through.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Decent stats for allrounder but he always fails to get England across the winning line he has been in that situation so many times, once he starts doing that he may be considered.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | June 28, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    Yet another example of the poor leadership in English cricketing ranks - when will something positive and significant be done? My guess is it will take some years before they realize the depth to which they have fallen

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    a player needs to backup his words... though it is too late for bopara i think he has a year more in hand for one last final hurah...

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | June 27, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    I still think he'd be a good pick for England, good player.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @Zenek Szulc with Morgan it's pure blind faith, even I can't really back it up other than mentally he is far superior and the technical faults he had in the UAE seem to have been sorted (head ducking, foot spinning), doesn't mean he will bag test runs I admit, I would also suggest Bopara's runs came against weaker attacks and failed miserably against half decent attacks (Aus). But as @yorkshirepudding pointed out there are more ahead of Morgs now and rightly so. I certainly wouldn't want to see Morgan jump ahead someone like Taylor or Vince on the back of a few ODI 60s. Which is what Bopleviers want with Bopara, except he hasn't got even many of them.

    However isolating Bopara, he is not up to test standard, I've argued on many occasions whether he is an asset to England full stop. He and Broad won an ODI at OT in 2008 (?) keeping his nerve, since then I haven't seen much of him carrying a team over the line, which when batting at 4,5 or 6 he has to do. He's just not good enough

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | June 27, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    It's a good, emotive interview from Bopara. There's a lot of talk about how dispassionate and 'lacking in fight' us Brits are, and after certain performances by some of the key players over the recently concluded series, I CAN see why. But after the promising performances from the young(ish) newbies (Robson, Ballance, Ali...) + interviews like this from Bopara, it's nice to see that there is at least some passion & honour there at heart. It just needs to come out on show on the big stage (more often).

    In the shorter formats, it's Bopara's bowling more than anything else that interests me. It's amazing how effective that nagging, medium-paced, moving ball can be in the adrenaline-soaked shorter formats where fast scoring rates + scoreboard pressures keep you on your toes. Tests... I'd perhaps bracket Bopara in the 'stop-gap' player (along with guys like Woakes); hasn't really made the most of his chances and shown he can be a reliable asset with bat and/or ball, but a useful 12th man.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | June 27, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    Bopara is a short format player at best as he can be a sometimes useful 5th bowler . I suspect Bopara is one of those guys who felt his ability alone would carry him and Tendulkar's 'he's a special batsman' in the early stages of his career probably fed his ego and had the reverse effect. All the top players regardless of technique have had to work hard to get to the top because it's only through hard work that real talent is revealed and potential unlocked. Surely, he should have looked up successful cricketers first and sought their advice rather than from business people. In terms of tests, I don't see him making on either his batting or bowling and he's not a genuine all-rounder. i would have thought a couple of huge seasons with Essex and failures from the first and second choice middle order against India, which doesn't seem likely and maybe Bopara might be in the selector's thoughts.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @Dan Lord

    One of my BIG issues is that people dismiss Ravi out of hand ("he's had his chance time and time again and he#'s blown it" etc) yet so many people seem to be under the impression that Morgan would be a great asset to the test side. Morgan has, for the record, played more tests than Ravi during a solid run in the team, has a worse record. He has shown no ability to consistantly deliver in FC games and whilst some will say "oh but Vaughan and Tresco etc didn't have good FC records either" i will take you back to the original point; Morgan has had 16 tests to prove that he can hack it at Test level, has shown that he is not up to the job and has shown no improvement in the domestic game.

  • POSTED BY imtiazjaleel on | June 29, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    I think Bopara is not mentally strong. He always failed to win the match for England despite getting so many opportunities to finish the games.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Ravi has probably missed his boat I'd reckon, what with Moeen and Stokes BOTH impressing that no.6 batting allrounder spot has set sail. England may even end up playing both of those guys at 5 and 6 and there is no way Ravi is going to push them out either with bat or ball. Just thinking about it, if England could get their best 4 bowlers sorted out Moeen and Stokes could round out a mightily impressive attack. I like Ravi but I'm not sure he'd be able to offer more than some of these really talented younger blokes coming through.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Decent stats for allrounder but he always fails to get England across the winning line he has been in that situation so many times, once he starts doing that he may be considered.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | June 28, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    Yet another example of the poor leadership in English cricketing ranks - when will something positive and significant be done? My guess is it will take some years before they realize the depth to which they have fallen

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    a player needs to backup his words... though it is too late for bopara i think he has a year more in hand for one last final hurah...

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | June 27, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    I still think he'd be a good pick for England, good player.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @Zenek Szulc with Morgan it's pure blind faith, even I can't really back it up other than mentally he is far superior and the technical faults he had in the UAE seem to have been sorted (head ducking, foot spinning), doesn't mean he will bag test runs I admit, I would also suggest Bopara's runs came against weaker attacks and failed miserably against half decent attacks (Aus). But as @yorkshirepudding pointed out there are more ahead of Morgs now and rightly so. I certainly wouldn't want to see Morgan jump ahead someone like Taylor or Vince on the back of a few ODI 60s. Which is what Bopleviers want with Bopara, except he hasn't got even many of them.

    However isolating Bopara, he is not up to test standard, I've argued on many occasions whether he is an asset to England full stop. He and Broad won an ODI at OT in 2008 (?) keeping his nerve, since then I haven't seen much of him carrying a team over the line, which when batting at 4,5 or 6 he has to do. He's just not good enough

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | June 27, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    It's a good, emotive interview from Bopara. There's a lot of talk about how dispassionate and 'lacking in fight' us Brits are, and after certain performances by some of the key players over the recently concluded series, I CAN see why. But after the promising performances from the young(ish) newbies (Robson, Ballance, Ali...) + interviews like this from Bopara, it's nice to see that there is at least some passion & honour there at heart. It just needs to come out on show on the big stage (more often).

    In the shorter formats, it's Bopara's bowling more than anything else that interests me. It's amazing how effective that nagging, medium-paced, moving ball can be in the adrenaline-soaked shorter formats where fast scoring rates + scoreboard pressures keep you on your toes. Tests... I'd perhaps bracket Bopara in the 'stop-gap' player (along with guys like Woakes); hasn't really made the most of his chances and shown he can be a reliable asset with bat and/or ball, but a useful 12th man.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | June 27, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    Bopara is a short format player at best as he can be a sometimes useful 5th bowler . I suspect Bopara is one of those guys who felt his ability alone would carry him and Tendulkar's 'he's a special batsman' in the early stages of his career probably fed his ego and had the reverse effect. All the top players regardless of technique have had to work hard to get to the top because it's only through hard work that real talent is revealed and potential unlocked. Surely, he should have looked up successful cricketers first and sought their advice rather than from business people. In terms of tests, I don't see him making on either his batting or bowling and he's not a genuine all-rounder. i would have thought a couple of huge seasons with Essex and failures from the first and second choice middle order against India, which doesn't seem likely and maybe Bopara might be in the selector's thoughts.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @Dan Lord

    One of my BIG issues is that people dismiss Ravi out of hand ("he's had his chance time and time again and he#'s blown it" etc) yet so many people seem to be under the impression that Morgan would be a great asset to the test side. Morgan has, for the record, played more tests than Ravi during a solid run in the team, has a worse record. He has shown no ability to consistantly deliver in FC games and whilst some will say "oh but Vaughan and Tresco etc didn't have good FC records either" i will take you back to the original point; Morgan has had 16 tests to prove that he can hack it at Test level, has shown that he is not up to the job and has shown no improvement in the domestic game.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Bopara not tailor made for test cricket.His game is very much a limited overs game. Though not consistent in odi's, he is mainly chosen as a batsman who can score some runs and bowl those cutters for england.If he is not bowling i dont think he is even a one-day material.He can be very good in t20s if he is handled well cause is his natural game i feel.Played some good innings in 2014 but just get a feeling he is batting too low and hence cant finish the games.He is disappointed over his non-selection but unless he scores heavily for essex, there's no chance of him getting selected as bairstow,stokes,taylor,vince are still knocking!!!!!!! I am an Indian.. Am i right, my English friends?????

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | June 27, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Tried tried and tried again, failed failed and failed again. Bopara is a hard trier but lacks talent. Move on.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 27, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    @Dan Lord, Id forgotten about old Creepy, and I think we can disagree about Mogs, though I don't believe the door is fully closed on him IF he can score shed loads of runs at FC level AND be available for any injury, but there are others now making a claim a head of even him.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 27, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    @SoyQuearns, Agree with some of your points but strongly disagree with others. Reed is a top quality county keeper & useful batsman at that level but he just didin't cut it in tests. Just because his county stats have improved since he last played a test there is no reason to think he would be anymore succesful in test cricket than he was previously. He was given an extended run in the side back then & didn't score enough runs. In the modern game keeper's have to be able to average in the mid 30's at least, no matter how good a keeper they are, CR barely managed half that. I don't get why people are down on Prior. Yes he had 2 poor ashes series particularly with the bat but given what he had done for Eng over the previous 4 or 5 yrs surely it's worth giving him the chance to restablish himself. In the SRL his keeping was off but was probably down to the fact he was rushed back from injury he should at least be given the ind series before any long term decisons are made.

  • POSTED BY on | June 27, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    Not often I agree with a Yorkie but @YorksirePudding hit it on the head, another Hick, Ramps or Crawley for me (I still like Morgan through blind faith and one day will wake up to him having 5000 test runs.....)

    Personally I think Bopara has proven time after time at OBI and 20/20 level he isn't cut for tests... because he has no bottle. Gives it away to easy, has chances to finish off games and doesn't.

    I really don't think it's talent thing, the bloke is supremely talented, it's his mental approach. Collingwood got picked on his mental toughness as much as his run scoring (technique wasn't the greatest!).

    Bopara is very good at coming out with the puppy dog eyes and good sound bites every test series but he isn't up to it. That unfortunately once again for a talented lad, is the bottom line.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | June 27, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @kingman75, good point, and it is nice to see Ravi with that hunger to play. It is easy to understand his disappointment but I don't think he can really feel hard done by. In his 19 test innings, he scored 3 tons against a west indies attack were everyone was scoring runs, and despite being one of the more senior ODI players he hasn't exactly been piling up the runs there either. He has played a couple of good knocks, but that is not enough in test cricket. As Mr George says, Trott grabbed his chance immediately, as have Robson, Ballance and Moeen, Bopara didn't.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 27, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @SoyQuearns, I'm not convinced by the Read argument, if like everyone says we pick the best XI players then why does Read deserve inclusion over Prior, who at the start of the season was ahead of Read in the Runs tables, and once international runs are considered Prior has 313 from 7 innings (4 games, avg 44), and Read 541 from 14 FC innings (10 games, avg 39).

    The choice of keeper however I believe it will come down to Buttler or Bairstow being the two main candidates for this position over the next few years, we might get an indication which way the wind blows with the Lions squads over the summer and winter, as well as the WI tour next year.

    I especially agree the provisioning of spinners and fast bowlers. Just wondering which Overton you are speaking about as there are two at Somerset Jamie and Craig. I'm not convinced about Tymal, he seems to lack a bit of control, Plunkett is a stop gap to either get Jordan settled or someone else ready.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 27, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    Ravi is very much like Morgan, Ramps and Hicks, a talented cricketer but not cut out for test cricket. His ODI form is a little more consistent, and is a useful bowler in the format as well.

    he should forget about test cricket especially with the likes of Stokes, Moeen, Ballence, Root and Robson making a mark. and other youngsters like Taylor, Vince and pushing for consideration.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | June 27, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @kingman75 , well said Sir. No real value for a cricketer playing T20s or ODIs. Test cricket is and will be the ultimate. There are a few fans who would argue otherwise but thankfully they are not the majority.

  • POSTED BY Kingman75 on | June 27, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Proof that no player really cares about T20 or ODIs. Test cricket is and always will be the pinnacle. Otherwise, why feel empty?

  • POSTED BY 2MikeGattings on | June 27, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    The main problem was that at the time of his selection the available slot in the batting order was number 3 and after Ravi failed 5 times in a row Trott nailed it in his first innings.

    You could say Morgs was given a run at a more favourable spot in the order. But you could also say Morgs has balls of steel and Ravi is flash Harry.

    Plus his bowling isn't worth much in the 5 day game.

  • POSTED BY CricketpunditUSA on | June 27, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Please give more chances to Cook and Prior and to an extent Joe Root and ignore the real talent like bopara afer a few failures. Never understood that logic. May be there is a quota system. There is already a player with a beard in the squad and can't get one more guy?!

  • POSTED BY SoyQuearns on | June 27, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Mate if ever there was a time to stake your claim for an ENG Test position it is now.

    Robson, Ali and Ballance should be locked in now as 3-year experiements (they've all rewarded their selections by hitting 100+ scores within their first 4 innings).

    Stokes should be locked in.

    Need to pluck a decent keeper (Chris Read - why not give him a 3-year gig, he's twice the cricketer now that he was when he first played Tests). Like pick an actual keeper. Keep working on Jos Buttler as a longer-term investment.

    Get kids like Tymal Mills, the Overtons, Roland-Jones, even Will Gidman bowling 100's of overs each season.

    Pick a nucleus of 5 spinners and develop them.

    Anderson is on his last legs, Broad can't do it alone and, despite showing some promise, I don't think Plunkett is a long-term option. Chris Jordan continues to surprise me, despite a moderate first test series, so I won't write him off yet.

    What I mean is - Bopara needs to just slay runs at FC and find his niche.

  • POSTED BY Boycotts_Bat on | June 26, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    He's not Test or International quality. He certainly shouldn't be surprised at being a non-event for Test cricket - Christ only knows how he's still being selected for ODI's....

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    Bopara has had multiple chances to play test cricket for England and has failed every time. He's had his chance, and it's gone.

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  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    Bopara has had multiple chances to play test cricket for England and has failed every time. He's had his chance, and it's gone.

  • POSTED BY Boycotts_Bat on | June 26, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    He's not Test or International quality. He certainly shouldn't be surprised at being a non-event for Test cricket - Christ only knows how he's still being selected for ODI's....

  • POSTED BY SoyQuearns on | June 27, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Mate if ever there was a time to stake your claim for an ENG Test position it is now.

    Robson, Ali and Ballance should be locked in now as 3-year experiements (they've all rewarded their selections by hitting 100+ scores within their first 4 innings).

    Stokes should be locked in.

    Need to pluck a decent keeper (Chris Read - why not give him a 3-year gig, he's twice the cricketer now that he was when he first played Tests). Like pick an actual keeper. Keep working on Jos Buttler as a longer-term investment.

    Get kids like Tymal Mills, the Overtons, Roland-Jones, even Will Gidman bowling 100's of overs each season.

    Pick a nucleus of 5 spinners and develop them.

    Anderson is on his last legs, Broad can't do it alone and, despite showing some promise, I don't think Plunkett is a long-term option. Chris Jordan continues to surprise me, despite a moderate first test series, so I won't write him off yet.

    What I mean is - Bopara needs to just slay runs at FC and find his niche.

  • POSTED BY CricketpunditUSA on | June 27, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Please give more chances to Cook and Prior and to an extent Joe Root and ignore the real talent like bopara afer a few failures. Never understood that logic. May be there is a quota system. There is already a player with a beard in the squad and can't get one more guy?!

  • POSTED BY 2MikeGattings on | June 27, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    The main problem was that at the time of his selection the available slot in the batting order was number 3 and after Ravi failed 5 times in a row Trott nailed it in his first innings.

    You could say Morgs was given a run at a more favourable spot in the order. But you could also say Morgs has balls of steel and Ravi is flash Harry.

    Plus his bowling isn't worth much in the 5 day game.

  • POSTED BY Kingman75 on | June 27, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Proof that no player really cares about T20 or ODIs. Test cricket is and always will be the pinnacle. Otherwise, why feel empty?

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | June 27, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @kingman75 , well said Sir. No real value for a cricketer playing T20s or ODIs. Test cricket is and will be the ultimate. There are a few fans who would argue otherwise but thankfully they are not the majority.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 27, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    Ravi is very much like Morgan, Ramps and Hicks, a talented cricketer but not cut out for test cricket. His ODI form is a little more consistent, and is a useful bowler in the format as well.

    he should forget about test cricket especially with the likes of Stokes, Moeen, Ballence, Root and Robson making a mark. and other youngsters like Taylor, Vince and pushing for consideration.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 27, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @SoyQuearns, I'm not convinced by the Read argument, if like everyone says we pick the best XI players then why does Read deserve inclusion over Prior, who at the start of the season was ahead of Read in the Runs tables, and once international runs are considered Prior has 313 from 7 innings (4 games, avg 44), and Read 541 from 14 FC innings (10 games, avg 39).

    The choice of keeper however I believe it will come down to Buttler or Bairstow being the two main candidates for this position over the next few years, we might get an indication which way the wind blows with the Lions squads over the summer and winter, as well as the WI tour next year.

    I especially agree the provisioning of spinners and fast bowlers. Just wondering which Overton you are speaking about as there are two at Somerset Jamie and Craig. I'm not convinced about Tymal, he seems to lack a bit of control, Plunkett is a stop gap to either get Jordan settled or someone else ready.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | June 27, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @kingman75, good point, and it is nice to see Ravi with that hunger to play. It is easy to understand his disappointment but I don't think he can really feel hard done by. In his 19 test innings, he scored 3 tons against a west indies attack were everyone was scoring runs, and despite being one of the more senior ODI players he hasn't exactly been piling up the runs there either. He has played a couple of good knocks, but that is not enough in test cricket. As Mr George says, Trott grabbed his chance immediately, as have Robson, Ballance and Moeen, Bopara didn't.