England in India 2011 October 9, 2011

It's a cut-throat business - Bopara

ESPNcricinfo staff
22

After a couple of important innings for England during their home ODI series against India, Ravi Bopara started the tour of India with a score of 73 against Hyderabad, which was crucial to the England XI winning the game. However, Bopara, who has been in and out of the England side during his career, is not taking anything for granted.

"It's a cut-throat business," he said. "You've just got to keep playing well whenever things are in your favour, and make sure you nail it."

England dominated India at home, winning the Test series 4-0 and the five-match ODI series 3-0, but the challenge for them will be to adapt to conditions in the subcontinent, where they struggled during the World Cup. Bopara said singles would be important since sometimes it was difficult to go through with your shots on Indian pitches.

"You've always got to look for boundaries; you've got to keep hitting the ball very hard. But it is a lot more difficult in India because you do know that if the pitch is not playing quite right you can't go through with all your shots. There is the worry of chipping it to the infield.

"You've got to have that in mind. You don't then hit the ball quite as hard or freely as you would like to. On those sorts of pitches, the singles do become very important - you don't want to be tied up with too many dot balls and put yourself under pressure, and have to look for a big shot on a pitch that is not quite suited to the batters."

England's batsmen had a tough time of it against Hyderabad, losing four wickets in the first 15 overs before Bopara and Chris Woakes took them to a score of 219. "It was a little bit of a difficult pitch, especially up front," Bopara said. "With the new ball, it was quite tough. But once the ball got older, it got better.

"It was hard to get the ball away, and quite a soft outfield. It was one of those where we thought we should be scoring a lot quicker, but in reality I thought 240 would have been a good score, and as it proved 220 was a good score."

Bopara recently put in a surprising performance with the ball, taking 4 for 10 to help England beat West Indies in a Twenty20 international at The Oval. He said he expected his bowling to be called upon against India as well.

"I think it's important for me to get my bowling right on this tour. At some stage my bowling is going to be called upon and I'm going to have to do a good job because, as we know, this Indian side have a very, very good batting line-up; they are playing in their own conditions too." He said he hoped to kick on from the positive start to the tour.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter is set to join England at practice for the first time on October 10, after Somerset were eliminated from the Champions League T20 at the semi-final stage. Kisewetter suffered a bruised arm during the semi-final against Mumbai Indians, when he was struck by a smash down the ground from his batting partner Jos Buttler. England will assess the injury as soon as possible.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on October 11, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    Abhimanyu Vemulapalli - Bitterness and whinging didn't gain England their number 1 test ranking. Hard work and good professional performances did.

  • 5wombats on October 11, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    @wardyinoz - Nice! I love it! Looks like living in Australia has had the same effect on you as it had on me... looks like you've learned how to sweet-talk people!

  • on October 11, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    LOL well even this time i had hoped that INDIA WILL BE PLAYING AGAINST ENGLAND.PHEW IT IS NOW TERMED AS "INDIA VS ESINZ(ENGLAND,SOUTH AFRICA,IRELAND,NEW ZEALAND)"

  • wardyinoz on October 11, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    to all you indian lovers. please pick up you toys and go home. stop harping on about how you are going to thrash england in your home series. so what if you do, it's no more than we did to you, and we have a lot better bowlers to cope with your conditions than you had in ours. why dont you wait and see before you start spouting off. twats!

  • JG2704 on October 10, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Does anyone think that ODI captain/future test captain Cook has had an influence on Bopara's umpteenth chance? I actually think the selectors have been inconsistent re Bopara. I thought they were harsh when the 1st dropped him after starting his Eng career so well vs WI but having done so Ravi didn't produce the kind of big scores worthy of getting a recall. Now he has been reselected and is performing then keep him in there. Besides Bell underperforms in ODIs and gets numerous chances

  • BIG_B_army on October 10, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    i also hope Ravi does well he is defo one of those players that has got an X factor. along with kevin and Eion England would finally have a batting order in one day cricket that will make international bowlers worry. i think he was unlucky to be dropped from test side fair enough he had 4 bad games against australia but cook had got no runs for a year and a half and england selectors stuck with him. why not for Bopara????? Plus he is full english born and raised.

  • AlanHarrison on October 10, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    @ simon_w: "he's had lots of chances and consistently demonstrated that he's not capable of being in that very top bracket of international players". On the contrary, I think the problem with Bopara is that he hasn't consistently demonstrated anything. Remember this is a one-day series, and while Bopara flopped in the ODI series against Australia in 2009, this is also the player who nearly pulled off a shock win for England against finalists Sri Lanka in the 2007 world cup, was man of the match against a highly-rated South Africa team in the 2011 world cup, did well in the 2007 ODI series again India, etc. Bopara is one of those players who combines evidence of genuine ability with a checkered record, whom it is hard either to rely upon or discard completely.

  • jackiethepen on October 10, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    I like the sound of this assessment. It shows understanding and maturity. That is priceless. Something that Flower has to think about when he wants to push younger players all the time. Assessing a wicket is very important - just look at how poorly the six-hitting champions played yesterday and lost to the Mumbai Indians. In all forms of cricket it can cost you the game. This is much more preferable to swagger. I remember Bell's assessment at the Oval in 2009 when his 72 set up our first innings lead. All the pundits got the pitch wrong but he didn't. Ponting paid the price. It makes interesting reading now. Some were claiming the Aussies would reply with 600. They got 160.

  • justk on October 10, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    the only player from england who will score runs..ha ha ha ha..and england would be trashed here..

  • Truemans_Ghost on October 10, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    People forget he got 3 test 100s in a row. Granted it was against a sullen depleted WI side, but how many players have got three tons in a row against county sides so it should not be dismissed. He has also played some excellent innings finishing cameos at times in ODIs, which England players have not alays been great at. Like others here I'm not quite convinced by him-besides those odi cameos he sometimes couldn't get it off the square, but I think he still could be a real one day asset.

  • JG2704 on October 11, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    Abhimanyu Vemulapalli - Bitterness and whinging didn't gain England their number 1 test ranking. Hard work and good professional performances did.

  • 5wombats on October 11, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    @wardyinoz - Nice! I love it! Looks like living in Australia has had the same effect on you as it had on me... looks like you've learned how to sweet-talk people!

  • on October 11, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    LOL well even this time i had hoped that INDIA WILL BE PLAYING AGAINST ENGLAND.PHEW IT IS NOW TERMED AS "INDIA VS ESINZ(ENGLAND,SOUTH AFRICA,IRELAND,NEW ZEALAND)"

  • wardyinoz on October 11, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    to all you indian lovers. please pick up you toys and go home. stop harping on about how you are going to thrash england in your home series. so what if you do, it's no more than we did to you, and we have a lot better bowlers to cope with your conditions than you had in ours. why dont you wait and see before you start spouting off. twats!

  • JG2704 on October 10, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Does anyone think that ODI captain/future test captain Cook has had an influence on Bopara's umpteenth chance? I actually think the selectors have been inconsistent re Bopara. I thought they were harsh when the 1st dropped him after starting his Eng career so well vs WI but having done so Ravi didn't produce the kind of big scores worthy of getting a recall. Now he has been reselected and is performing then keep him in there. Besides Bell underperforms in ODIs and gets numerous chances

  • BIG_B_army on October 10, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    i also hope Ravi does well he is defo one of those players that has got an X factor. along with kevin and Eion England would finally have a batting order in one day cricket that will make international bowlers worry. i think he was unlucky to be dropped from test side fair enough he had 4 bad games against australia but cook had got no runs for a year and a half and england selectors stuck with him. why not for Bopara????? Plus he is full english born and raised.

  • AlanHarrison on October 10, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    @ simon_w: "he's had lots of chances and consistently demonstrated that he's not capable of being in that very top bracket of international players". On the contrary, I think the problem with Bopara is that he hasn't consistently demonstrated anything. Remember this is a one-day series, and while Bopara flopped in the ODI series against Australia in 2009, this is also the player who nearly pulled off a shock win for England against finalists Sri Lanka in the 2007 world cup, was man of the match against a highly-rated South Africa team in the 2011 world cup, did well in the 2007 ODI series again India, etc. Bopara is one of those players who combines evidence of genuine ability with a checkered record, whom it is hard either to rely upon or discard completely.

  • jackiethepen on October 10, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    I like the sound of this assessment. It shows understanding and maturity. That is priceless. Something that Flower has to think about when he wants to push younger players all the time. Assessing a wicket is very important - just look at how poorly the six-hitting champions played yesterday and lost to the Mumbai Indians. In all forms of cricket it can cost you the game. This is much more preferable to swagger. I remember Bell's assessment at the Oval in 2009 when his 72 set up our first innings lead. All the pundits got the pitch wrong but he didn't. Ponting paid the price. It makes interesting reading now. Some were claiming the Aussies would reply with 600. They got 160.

  • justk on October 10, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    the only player from england who will score runs..ha ha ha ha..and england would be trashed here..

  • Truemans_Ghost on October 10, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    People forget he got 3 test 100s in a row. Granted it was against a sullen depleted WI side, but how many players have got three tons in a row against county sides so it should not be dismissed. He has also played some excellent innings finishing cameos at times in ODIs, which England players have not alays been great at. Like others here I'm not quite convinced by him-besides those odi cameos he sometimes couldn't get it off the square, but I think he still could be a real one day asset.

  • anver777 on October 10, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    I'm sure inform Bopara will do better with his vast experiences in India, he knows the conditions & performed creditably in the past IPL matches so nothing new to him....

  • on October 10, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    Ravi Bopara: School Report - Could do better

  • ashes61 on October 9, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    I'd also like to see Bopara do well in this series. The signs are good after his recent ODI form, but of course it is as a Test player that he will really want to prove himself - and that will mean displacing Morgan, which may be some way off at present, despite Morgan's present injury. Ravi's ability to bowl is not nearly so urgent in Tests as it is useful in ODIs, because of England's strong bowling attack at present, which is dismissing most sides for low scores. It'll help his claim a bit, though. He will also want to improve his running and calling, which has long been problematical, and it is clear that batsmen are nervous when partnering him. That can improve, though, as he settles. Owais Shah was a lot worse. Ravi is an excellent fielder, even by current England standards, and this little run of form with bat & ball in the pyjama games will settle him down & help him mature. Although he won't always get much of a chance to bat in this ODI series, he should do nicely.

  • JG2704 on October 9, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    In terms of form , I'd say the best batting all rounder out there in the shorter form of the game is Kent's Darren Stevens - a very clean hitter with the bat and can be useful with the ball. The fact that he's 35 obviously goes against him

  • simon_w on October 9, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    i sincerely hope Ravi will come good, but i have to say that i would have drawn a line under him by now, i think. he's had lots of chances and consistently demonstrated that he's not capable of being in that very top bracket of international players. with the queue of potential world-class players that is forming behind him, i would start seeing if any of those guys can really make the leap.

    on the other hand, i, like so many others, would have dropped Broadie at the beginning of this summer, and i'm rather glad the England selectors knew better. Ravi has had a couple of good games on the bounce now, and the selectors clearly think he's worth persisting with, so i hope that this will make it England selectors 2, me 0 :)

  • JG2704 on October 9, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    @Naresh Pitamber - If averaging less than 40 , playing div 2 cricket and failing with the bat for the Lions and getting a test opportunity on that form then I guess I live in a different world. Ravi to his credit has done well this time but I still have my doubts.

  • 5wombats on October 9, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    True - Bopara has had lots of chances to play at the top level, but he's never really nailed it until now. I thought he would come good in the 2009 Ashes, but he didn't. Maybe there was some self-doubt there, not sure, but either way with Collingwood now out of the picture we need a player out of that mould. Ravi is the man - and still only 26! Amazing, seems like he's been around for ever.

  • on October 9, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    bopara will do well in india, will score over 350 runs but kp wiill be man of the series after england white wash india for his 3 hundreds

  • yorkshire-86 on October 9, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    He got a good go at Test cricket against Sri Lanka and responded with three ducks in a row. After that, there will always be doubts about his competence at the top level.

  • hhillbumper on October 9, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    He has had lots of chances so not quite sure what you are on about.

  • landl47 on October 9, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Bopara's a very useful player, especially in these conditions. I hope he will have a good series with both bat and ball. @Naresh Pitamber: Ravi might have been a bit unlucky, but he's been given lots of chances. His problem has been that he has lacked the mental toughness to do well under pressure. There have been signs recently that he might have come to terms with playing when the heat is on and if so he'll get his opportunity. He's always had the talent and he's still only 26. 'Unlucky' is someone like David Hussey, who's in his mid-thirties now, has a first-class average of 55, has played well all over the world, but has never been selected for a single test. Ravi's already played 12 tests and lots of ODIs.

  • on October 9, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    If there is a player in the world who never got a fair chance its Ravi Bapora. I remember his first game he played as a bowler and never got to bowl. this was just the start.

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  • on October 9, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    If there is a player in the world who never got a fair chance its Ravi Bapora. I remember his first game he played as a bowler and never got to bowl. this was just the start.

  • landl47 on October 9, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Bopara's a very useful player, especially in these conditions. I hope he will have a good series with both bat and ball. @Naresh Pitamber: Ravi might have been a bit unlucky, but he's been given lots of chances. His problem has been that he has lacked the mental toughness to do well under pressure. There have been signs recently that he might have come to terms with playing when the heat is on and if so he'll get his opportunity. He's always had the talent and he's still only 26. 'Unlucky' is someone like David Hussey, who's in his mid-thirties now, has a first-class average of 55, has played well all over the world, but has never been selected for a single test. Ravi's already played 12 tests and lots of ODIs.

  • hhillbumper on October 9, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    He has had lots of chances so not quite sure what you are on about.

  • yorkshire-86 on October 9, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    He got a good go at Test cricket against Sri Lanka and responded with three ducks in a row. After that, there will always be doubts about his competence at the top level.

  • on October 9, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    bopara will do well in india, will score over 350 runs but kp wiill be man of the series after england white wash india for his 3 hundreds

  • 5wombats on October 9, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    True - Bopara has had lots of chances to play at the top level, but he's never really nailed it until now. I thought he would come good in the 2009 Ashes, but he didn't. Maybe there was some self-doubt there, not sure, but either way with Collingwood now out of the picture we need a player out of that mould. Ravi is the man - and still only 26! Amazing, seems like he's been around for ever.

  • JG2704 on October 9, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    @Naresh Pitamber - If averaging less than 40 , playing div 2 cricket and failing with the bat for the Lions and getting a test opportunity on that form then I guess I live in a different world. Ravi to his credit has done well this time but I still have my doubts.

  • simon_w on October 9, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    i sincerely hope Ravi will come good, but i have to say that i would have drawn a line under him by now, i think. he's had lots of chances and consistently demonstrated that he's not capable of being in that very top bracket of international players. with the queue of potential world-class players that is forming behind him, i would start seeing if any of those guys can really make the leap.

    on the other hand, i, like so many others, would have dropped Broadie at the beginning of this summer, and i'm rather glad the England selectors knew better. Ravi has had a couple of good games on the bounce now, and the selectors clearly think he's worth persisting with, so i hope that this will make it England selectors 2, me 0 :)

  • JG2704 on October 9, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    In terms of form , I'd say the best batting all rounder out there in the shorter form of the game is Kent's Darren Stevens - a very clean hitter with the bat and can be useful with the ball. The fact that he's 35 obviously goes against him

  • ashes61 on October 9, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    I'd also like to see Bopara do well in this series. The signs are good after his recent ODI form, but of course it is as a Test player that he will really want to prove himself - and that will mean displacing Morgan, which may be some way off at present, despite Morgan's present injury. Ravi's ability to bowl is not nearly so urgent in Tests as it is useful in ODIs, because of England's strong bowling attack at present, which is dismissing most sides for low scores. It'll help his claim a bit, though. He will also want to improve his running and calling, which has long been problematical, and it is clear that batsmen are nervous when partnering him. That can improve, though, as he settles. Owais Shah was a lot worse. Ravi is an excellent fielder, even by current England standards, and this little run of form with bat & ball in the pyjama games will settle him down & help him mature. Although he won't always get much of a chance to bat in this ODI series, he should do nicely.