The Ashes 2009 August 23, 2009

Bopara vows to return stronger

Cricinfo staff

Ravi Bopara has vowed to return to the England Test side a better player after being dropped for the Ashes decider following a torrid series. He made just 105 runs in the first four matches and was dumped in favour of Jonathan Trott for the final clash at The Oval.

However, Bopara responded in fine style in his first innings since being dropped when he struck a double-century against Surrey in Colchester. "That's my way of answering," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "I think when I got to 100 I said to myself I am not getting off this pitch until I come back with 200.

"I usually take things on the chin and get on with it," he said about his omission. "I am not a massive guy for making too much of a fuss. I was surprised I went through seven innings without getting a massive score or a big score. I did feel as if there was a score around the corner."

Bopara has already been through a similar situation of having to rebuild his credentials after his first taste of Test cricket in Sri Lanka on the 2007-08 tour. He collected three consecutive ducks to finish that series and didn't play another Test until the tour of West Indies in March when he made a hundred on his recall in Barbados.

At the start of the home season he was promoted to No. 3 and responded with consecutive centuries against West Indies, but found life much harder against Australia. His technique was exposed outside the off stump and he was also trapped leg before on three occasions.

Bopara admitted having felt the difference between domestic and international level, but is determined to learn from the experience. "I think the mental side is the biggest step up," he said. "I will come back a better player."

The route back won't be easy, though, after his replacement Trott made an outstanding debut hundred and there will be a battle for batting berths for the South Africa tour when Kevin Pietersen returns from injury.