Pakistan v England 2011-12 February 16, 2012

Bopara England's biggest surprise

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Such has been the excellence of Alastair Cook in the first two ODIs between Pakistan and England that it would be easy to overlook the impressive performances of a couple of his teammates.

Cook scored his second successive century as England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. It means his ODI average since returning to the side as captain in June 2011 is 55.93 at a strike-rate of 92.5. It is understandable that such figures overshadow those of his colleagues.

But Cook is not the only England player enjoying a good series. Steven Finn, bowling with pace, control and skill, has underlined the impression that he is fast maturing into a high-quality international cricketer and, in taking four wickets in each of the first two ODIs, has played a key role in England's success. Displacing Stuart Broad or James Anderson from England's Test team still appears unlikely in the short term but Finn surely has an exciting future.

It is, perhaps, the batting of Ravi Bopara that has been the biggest surprise. Had Jos Buttler been fit, there is every chance Bopara would have been the man omitted from the ODI side, but the 26-year-old Essex batsman has taken his chance and responded with two important half-centuries. From a precarious position on the periphery of the Test and limited-overs teams, Bopara has re-established himself in England's long-term plans.

Bopara's talent has never been in question. It has long been accepted that he was capable of playing attractive strokes and, just days after his 24th birthday, he joined a select group of England players - Herbert Sutcliffe, Denis Compton, Geoff Boycott and Graham Gooch - by scoring Test centuries in three successive innings, after 108 against West Indies at Chester-le-Street. The questions have more been over his temperament under pressure and ability to grind out runs in adversity.

So it must have been particularly pleasing to see Bopara prosper in Abu Dhabi. On begrudging pitches that have inhibited strokeplay, Bopara has twice come in with his side under some pressure and succeeded in grafting for runs in circumstances where most others have failed. It was a welcome sign of maturity from a player who may yet develop into a fine batsmen in all formats of the game.

While many on-lookers have been surprised by Cook's much improved ODI batting, Bopara is not. Indeed, Bopara now believes Cook can force himself into England's T20 squad

"Taking responsibility had been a massive thing for me," Bopara said. "We knew we had soak up the pressure as it was going to be tough in the first 15 or 20 minutes. It gets easier as the innings goes on. Once you're in for about five overs you get used to the pace of the wicket and the bowlers. Once you give yourself a chance, you have every chance of catching up and scoring at a run a ball.

"If you're going to bat in the middle order you have to give yourself 15-20 balls. I'm not saying you go in there and block 15-20 balls but you can't put yourself under pressure if you're not scoring in those first 10, 15, 20 balls. You just hang in there because you do get those little bit of luck - maybe runs past third man or fine leg - and you can catch up."

Luck was a key ingredient in the first ODI in Abu Dhabi. A better wicketkeeper than Umar Akmal - and that is a very large constituency - might have stumped Bopara when he had just one in that game. But Bopara has experienced too many triumphs and tragedies already in his career to start pondering the tiny twists of fate than can make or break a player. He is determined to simply concentrate on the present and is reluctant to be drawn on his own future or that of his team.

"Things can change so quickly," Bopara said. "I'm not analysing where I am at the moment. I remember in the summer, against India, I had a good series but then I went out to India and didn't have such a good series. I'm just keeping my feet on the ground. I'm just thinking about Ajmal and how I'm going to deal with him.

"I wouldn't want to think about winning this series 4-0. We've done that in the past. Individually we've got a bit giddy and things just go wrong. So we're not going to look too far ahead. We'll just keep doing what we've been doing in the last couple of matches and worry about our skills and dealing with that Pakistan bowling line-up.

"We haven't had a good one-day record in the sub-continent so it's a big thing for us to win out here. It will give us confidence to know we can do it in sub-continent conditions.

"Obviously, I want to play Test cricket for England. That's the ultimate goal and achievement: to stay in that side and win things. That's my main aim. That's what I'm working towards."

Bopara was more effusive on the subject of his teammate and old friend Cook. While many on-lookers have been surprised by Cook's much improved ODI batting, Bopara is not. Indeed, Bopara now believes that Cook - who is currently not part of England's T20 squad - can force himself into the reckoning in the shortest format.

"He's someone I've seen adapt so much over his career so far," Bopara said. "I've played with him since I was 14 or 15 and with the amount he's changed over the years, there's no reason why he can't change and become a T20 player as well. I've seen him play some class T20 knocks for Essex. There's no reason he can't do it for England. He's someone I've seen adapt more than anyone in my whole career. Most definitely I think he's the sort of person who will play for England in T20.

"He just grinds out runs, doesn't he? I don't know how he keeps doing it but he knows his areas, he's a tough man, he's hard on himself and he's a really good player."

The England and Pakistan squads travelled from Dubai to Abu Dhabi on Thursday. England reported no new injury concerns, with Tim Bresnan and Jos Buttler improving by the day and the sore back that forced Bopara off the field for a short period on Wednesday not thought to be a serious issue.

It is Pakistan who have more to think about. In both games they have been let down by the part-time wicketkeeping of Umar Akmal and their brittle batting. None of their batsmen have yet registered a half-century in the series, highlighting their long tail and need for more all-rounders. Pakistan's fielding will also have to improve substantially if they are to challenge in the 2015 World Cup. The third ODI takes place in Dubai on Saturday.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KillDevil on February 18, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @valavan agree totally mate, too many "blind leading the blind fans", i like to watch all matches and not just the blinkered indian vision. this team is probably the worst i've seen in all the years, there's just no fight when the going gets tough, at times, it seems like "i've got millions in my bank account so who cares" attitude. it's sad to as a fan but i can't see it changing for a good few years. i think kohli has it to be a good test player, as for the rest, less said, the better.

    as for Bopara, morgan situation. i don't think either will make the grade at test level but bopara might be better suited to the spin tracks while morgan might be a better bet on the home turf. i'm sure someone will come through the county ranks soon enough.

  • andrew27994 on February 17, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    The main reason that England won the last 2 matches was mainly because the batsmen played the Pakistan bowlers (especially spinners) with respect. Cook was amazing. But very surprised that he didn't perform well in the tests as he did well in the warm up matches. Also lots of credit to Finn for applying pressure on Pakistan batsmen. We know that Pakistan batting order is more fragile compared to other teams but have the best bowling unit. So England have responded well in this ODI series. Only problem is that I don't see Kieswetter performing well in the middle order. I think it would be better for him to open again. I also think England should consider putting Pietersen down the order and maybe if he can come in to bat in the last 15-20 overs or so it would be a perfect way for him to not only play in the manner in which he likes but also get his confidence back which would benefit England hugely.

  • RandyOZ on February 17, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    Bopara?Haha Oh boy the talent is paper thin in England. With backups like this, who have already been exposed multiple times in world cricket, coupled with the overrated bowling attack who were toothless against Pakistan, England may as well save themselves the embarrassment and send the Ashes down under now.

  • voma on February 17, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    @Gerard Pereira , seriously i suggest you look at Morgans stats before making a comment like that .

  • saintsinister on February 17, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    im watchin women t20 NZ vs Eng.. is it weird that i think the fielding, catching and wicketkeeping of England women team is better than Pakistan's Mens' team? BTW this is coming from a Pakistani.. Ravi Bopara btw is just riding his luck, first match missed stumping and plumb LBW not given.. Cook on the other hand is the main difference atm.. otherwise both sides batting is pretty miserable..

  • on February 17, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    I think Ravi Bopara is a very good batsman and deserves all chances that he is getting.. He rotated the strike very well during both one dayers against Pak.. That was very crucial as it did not allow the Pak bowlers to settle or bowl only at 1 batsman for long periods of time.. Bopara deserves credit for the centuries scored by Cook.. Had Bopara gone cheaply, then I dont think anyone else could have stayed there with Cook long enough to post such scores.. Bopara should be given a good chance in atleast 2 more series and may be bat a bit higher in the ODI team and then he will definitely score centuries..

  • on February 17, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Despite this - and my personal likeing for the 50 over game - I doubt this will have any resonance in the UK. Win or lose - mopst cricket fans in the UK don't care for or watch 50 over cricket - especially abroad. (Sky returned viewing figures of under 250,000 peak for the game, that finished after tea time in the UK) Proving English audience has no interest at all in the format. Shame - but that's the way it is.

  • drdani on February 17, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Bopara really played well..bragging about he had a missed stumping and a chance by the umpire in first odi would be silly..afterall gud batsmen are those who recover from such chances rather than losing their wickets thinking about those chances..pak team is playing well,may be not fully upto their mark,courtesy of 1-2 poor selections,but they have been beaten by a side who played better on those 2 days..m sure pak would come back in the series as was clear by the effort they put in the 2nd odi..it was funny to see comments here that the good pakistani players r playing in bpl :)

  • satish619chandar on February 17, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Bopara actually provided a rather unexpected turnaround for England.. England had either Cook or Trott settled in almost everyt match when it went into the middle order.. The middle order was very fragile there but here, Bopara proved to be a able folly and rotated strike effectively and more importantly, didn't allow the spinners to get settled.. Left-Right combination was a additional advantage too.. Good to see England rising above in ODI's.. They need to give the importance it deserves..

  • Valavan on February 17, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @KillDevil, you can comment on any comments here, but I have answered only those Indians who speak unwanted India's glory here in Eng Vs Pak pages. Even here Bopara isnt hyped here. Ye mate you are right, but in cricinfo you can check stats not just in 2000s, you can see even before 80s and 70s, India have been a good side, but that doesnt mean others are worser than India as the indian fans write here. If Bopara and Morgan are ducks out of water, what can we say about total new indian lineup excluding Tendulkar and dravid, they are too ducks out of water when they travel out of home. BTW, also it was really kinda JOKE when Indian fans compared SEHWAG to SIR VIV. He hit a 200 in ODI in India and yet he looked very very pathetic in Aussie in tests. We answerd only for those guys, who have nothing to do here in this page, KillDevil probably you watched cricket involving India since 90s, but not international cricket, cricinfo please publish

  • KillDevil on February 18, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @valavan agree totally mate, too many "blind leading the blind fans", i like to watch all matches and not just the blinkered indian vision. this team is probably the worst i've seen in all the years, there's just no fight when the going gets tough, at times, it seems like "i've got millions in my bank account so who cares" attitude. it's sad to as a fan but i can't see it changing for a good few years. i think kohli has it to be a good test player, as for the rest, less said, the better.

    as for Bopara, morgan situation. i don't think either will make the grade at test level but bopara might be better suited to the spin tracks while morgan might be a better bet on the home turf. i'm sure someone will come through the county ranks soon enough.

  • andrew27994 on February 17, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    The main reason that England won the last 2 matches was mainly because the batsmen played the Pakistan bowlers (especially spinners) with respect. Cook was amazing. But very surprised that he didn't perform well in the tests as he did well in the warm up matches. Also lots of credit to Finn for applying pressure on Pakistan batsmen. We know that Pakistan batting order is more fragile compared to other teams but have the best bowling unit. So England have responded well in this ODI series. Only problem is that I don't see Kieswetter performing well in the middle order. I think it would be better for him to open again. I also think England should consider putting Pietersen down the order and maybe if he can come in to bat in the last 15-20 overs or so it would be a perfect way for him to not only play in the manner in which he likes but also get his confidence back which would benefit England hugely.

  • RandyOZ on February 17, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    Bopara?Haha Oh boy the talent is paper thin in England. With backups like this, who have already been exposed multiple times in world cricket, coupled with the overrated bowling attack who were toothless against Pakistan, England may as well save themselves the embarrassment and send the Ashes down under now.

  • voma on February 17, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    @Gerard Pereira , seriously i suggest you look at Morgans stats before making a comment like that .

  • saintsinister on February 17, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    im watchin women t20 NZ vs Eng.. is it weird that i think the fielding, catching and wicketkeeping of England women team is better than Pakistan's Mens' team? BTW this is coming from a Pakistani.. Ravi Bopara btw is just riding his luck, first match missed stumping and plumb LBW not given.. Cook on the other hand is the main difference atm.. otherwise both sides batting is pretty miserable..

  • on February 17, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    I think Ravi Bopara is a very good batsman and deserves all chances that he is getting.. He rotated the strike very well during both one dayers against Pak.. That was very crucial as it did not allow the Pak bowlers to settle or bowl only at 1 batsman for long periods of time.. Bopara deserves credit for the centuries scored by Cook.. Had Bopara gone cheaply, then I dont think anyone else could have stayed there with Cook long enough to post such scores.. Bopara should be given a good chance in atleast 2 more series and may be bat a bit higher in the ODI team and then he will definitely score centuries..

  • on February 17, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Despite this - and my personal likeing for the 50 over game - I doubt this will have any resonance in the UK. Win or lose - mopst cricket fans in the UK don't care for or watch 50 over cricket - especially abroad. (Sky returned viewing figures of under 250,000 peak for the game, that finished after tea time in the UK) Proving English audience has no interest at all in the format. Shame - but that's the way it is.

  • drdani on February 17, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Bopara really played well..bragging about he had a missed stumping and a chance by the umpire in first odi would be silly..afterall gud batsmen are those who recover from such chances rather than losing their wickets thinking about those chances..pak team is playing well,may be not fully upto their mark,courtesy of 1-2 poor selections,but they have been beaten by a side who played better on those 2 days..m sure pak would come back in the series as was clear by the effort they put in the 2nd odi..it was funny to see comments here that the good pakistani players r playing in bpl :)

  • satish619chandar on February 17, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Bopara actually provided a rather unexpected turnaround for England.. England had either Cook or Trott settled in almost everyt match when it went into the middle order.. The middle order was very fragile there but here, Bopara proved to be a able folly and rotated strike effectively and more importantly, didn't allow the spinners to get settled.. Left-Right combination was a additional advantage too.. Good to see England rising above in ODI's.. They need to give the importance it deserves..

  • Valavan on February 17, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @KillDevil, you can comment on any comments here, but I have answered only those Indians who speak unwanted India's glory here in Eng Vs Pak pages. Even here Bopara isnt hyped here. Ye mate you are right, but in cricinfo you can check stats not just in 2000s, you can see even before 80s and 70s, India have been a good side, but that doesnt mean others are worser than India as the indian fans write here. If Bopara and Morgan are ducks out of water, what can we say about total new indian lineup excluding Tendulkar and dravid, they are too ducks out of water when they travel out of home. BTW, also it was really kinda JOKE when Indian fans compared SEHWAG to SIR VIV. He hit a 200 in ODI in India and yet he looked very very pathetic in Aussie in tests. We answerd only for those guys, who have nothing to do here in this page, KillDevil probably you watched cricket involving India since 90s, but not international cricket, cricinfo please publish

  • MrBrightside92 on February 17, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Bopara is a squad player. Someone with the experience to come in at short notice if the next cab off the rank is not deemed ready yet. Unfortunately if everyone is fit and with a reasonable amount of form he shouldn't be in any of the first 11's. Against Pakistan we just need a reasonable score, so we need experienced, reasonable players like him. Against India and Oz we will need more..players who can go up and down the gears...typical English media, two good games and everyone is lauding him. He was pitiful in India, with his experience it was a perfect opportunity on a tough tour to say he belonged at the top table, similarly in the 2009 Ashes. Until Butler, Bairstow are ready...KP/Morgan should stay, at least until after T20 World Cup in SL...what's the criticism of KP in the IPL? We need all the experience of Asian conditions we can get...

  • KillDevil on February 17, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    i clicked on to read comments about bopara on here and didn't really want to waste time on anything else but @valavan and a_vacant_slip. all i'll say is, i assume you guys have only started watching cricket in the past few years (i call it glory hunting or jumping on the bandwagon), just click on to cricinfo country pages, choose india and test results over the years, you'll find that the world actually used to play cricket even before 2009 or so.

    as for Bopara, maybe if the coach and captain weren't so stuck on keeping the same 11 no matter what in tests and dropped morgan, england might've had a chance in the test series.

  • MrSmith101 on February 17, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Haha jonesy2, your criticisms of Eng do make me laugh. If we want to talk about laughing stock material, you need to look a lot closer to home mate. Hailing Warner as the next best thing, more like Phil Hughes mark 2! Wade, Dan Christian, Peter Forrest? Who?? And don't get me started on Ponting!

  • on February 17, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    He was gone for a duck in the first ODI, given not out. When England bat under lights, we will see how good they are. :)

  • jaycee71 on February 17, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    jonesy2, talking about quality batsmen, let's look as Australia's latest score, whoops 158 all out, these terrible players, Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Strauss, all scored tons in Oz last winter

  • JG2704 on February 17, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @Chetan007 on (February 17 2012, 06:22 AM GMT) chapathishot on (February 17 2012, 07:04 AM GMT) Thanks again for the credit. It's nice to get compliments from other nations fans rather than those injury excuses etc.

  • JG2704 on February 17, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (February 17 2012, 05:08 AM GMT) - I will actually say that I think the guy is right about Bell having plenty of chances at OD level even if his test stats (bearing no relevance) are skewered somewhat. Personally I thought they were harsh dropping Ravi when they did but by the same token he certainly didn't do enough at county level to warrant a recall in the test arena and I feel that if Cook wasn't captain and Ravi didn't have those overs up his sleeve he'd not be selected in the OD arena. Having said that Ravi has done well this time around so fair play to him

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 17, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Everytime I come on cricinfo which is not often I am more and more amazed by India supporter. For one thing why are India supporter here on Pak V Eng pages? And why the delusions of grandeur from India guys who have been whipped out of sight first 8-0 by England then whitewashed AGAIN just for good measure by so weak Australia team? I don't know why India funny guys are parading their comedy material here. @chapathishot = another India funny guy. Whole world knows who is living in "fools paradise", it must be India. And @Chetan007 you are like Sehwag who says only games that count are the ones played in India. So all the beatings India receive in other places count for nothing, eh? Funny funny India guys. Fools paradise is correct summary of this outlook. Meanwhile in real world Pakistan & England give good Test match contest and ODI cricket is entertaining. In ODI only need a couple of batsmen to fire and this has happened for Eng. Eng bowlers able to control Pakistan to win. Plz pub

  • Valavan on February 17, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    @chapathishot and chetan007, you are so hilarious, we have just seen INDIA is just another team when they travel out of India, OFCOURSE, everyone knows India can win in India only, None of your batters except the Dravid and tendulkar can play moving ball in test. Even Rohit sharma said Aussies are weak against moving ball but what happened is what we have seen. Ye ye blame all rain if you cant win, if you count on 5 - 0 in ODIs, England won the 1 off T20 in Kolkata, India can show others how to play in India only with the so called spin tracks, guys do you have decent spinners like AJMAL or half decent pacers other than Zaheer Khan, at this rate you will loose to Pakistan in Tests. Continuous 8 Test losses and billion excuses, thats the sad but real level of TEAM INDIA. Most of others answered for a similat guy like you gerard periera, btw we know where we are heading, Indian Fans thras others but TEAM INDIA get annihilated in the field. cricinfo please publish.

  • chapathishot on February 17, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    English are in fools paradise after winning against Pakistan in 2 ODIs the team combination as well as methods are not good for ODIs and will be found out against good ODI teams like 5-0 loss against India .Pakistan are bit weak in the field and also batting line up is not good.Good players are there but are playing in the BPL.Lankans will trash them at home if they play this brand of cricket.

  • on February 17, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Dum player bopara -- pakistan bowled him poor deliveries that's the main reason of scoring otherwise he is not a competitive batsman.

  • Chetan007 on February 17, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    @Lmaotsetung and @A_Vacant_Slip: England will surely be beaten up in England if rains didn't come to save them in every game in ODIs. Here in Dubai, England is not playing well but Pakistan is playing bad. I am sure the next two match will test your best batsmen Cook and Bopara and may be Pakistan will win those left out matches. Remember your side is still not the best side in the world. Just winning 1 or 2 series with clean sweep that too because the opposition were not at their best. Come to India, we will show you were you guys belong in cricket. It's better for other teams that Raina is not able to play short ball otherwise what will happen you better know. We have some good players in our backyard but they were injured while the tour of England just like Pujara, Rohit, Manoj. They will be in the future team of Indian test side.

  • alonetiger on February 17, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    i think he is a test player although he scored few times in the ODI s but in all those innings he was not able to hit the ball like a one day batsman .he hasnt any power to hit sixes or aggresive boundries when iis requried and he plays very slow.so all in all he is a test players and doesnt have any place in english one day side and the selecters will soon find this bitter truth

  • jonesy2 on February 17, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    the only batsmen with less talent may be bell and trott and the test captain strauss. morgan and pieterson are also laughing stock material

  • jonesy2 on February 17, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    bopara is one of the worst batsmen ive ever seen. kudos england, good work on not having any quality players at all.

  • jmcilhinney on February 17, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith, you seem to be a little confused. You talk about Bopara getting three hundreds, which was done in Test matches, but then you talk about Bell having failed to nail chances when he has a Test average of over 47. I agree that Bell has failed to impress in limited-overs cricket, although I still believe that he could be an effective opener, but he has definitely cemented his place in the Test squad. He didn't look great in this last series but then who in the England side did?

  • birdz_eye on February 17, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    England played disciplined cricket while Pakistan were the opposite, that is the only difference i found. They were not special by any means cuz 260 & 250 scores are not a big deal on Asian pitches but yes this was their solid game plan & discipline in the field which paved the way for 2-0 lead. Best of luck to the Englishmen after the horrible test series, Pakistan need to flush out guys like Farhat, Misbah & Malik from ODI & T20 squads as they are not the right breed for these formats. Give chance to guys who have the potential for this level on longer terms. Start with Hammad Azam

  • jmcilhinney on February 17, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    Well done to Bopara for grinding out two important 50s here. It shows that he has application as well as talent. Yes, he was a little lucky in the first game but lots of big scores come after drops or other strokes of luck. The runs don't score themselves, whether you're dropped or a stumping missed or whatever. As for the LBW, you can't blame the umpire for not giving it out because, with one look at full speed, how could you say definitively that it was pad first? Having said all that, it's going to take more for me to be convinced that Bopara is up to international cricket. He certainly looks like he should be but he has had lots of chances and has never produced consistently. With players like Buttler, Bairstow and Taylor knocking on the door, he may not get too many more.

  • Farooqi669 on February 17, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    It was a big mistake that England did not give chance to Bopara in the Test Matches. I think he should have been included in the test squad.

  • on February 17, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    Go Bopara force the selectors to pick you again keep making runs and they wont have any other alternative.

  • VillageBlacksmith on February 17, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Bopara was given a big kickstart when he scored 3 tons vs a v weak WI side, just like Bell when he scored all those runs vs Bangladesh... But they both then faded against better opposition, mainly vs Oz. where they were found out and exposed They are both flakey and not men for a crisis. Both have been given many many opportunities since and have always failed to nail them. Give me Bairstow anyday, his one knock showed more guts and gumption than both Bopara and Bell put together.

  • aracer on February 17, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    I've never particularly been a Bopara fan, but I do wonder if he's finally cracked it. Would have liked to see him play the 3rd test instead of Morgan - he could hardly have done much worse, and from the evidence of the first 2 tests, Morgan didn't look in any sort of form. It would certainly help the balance of the England test team if Bopara can make a place for himself in the side - having the option of his bowling has to help when only fielding 4 mainline bowlers. Hopefully he'll get a go in SL. As for Finn playing tests - well Tremlett is certainly fighting for his place, though there has to be an argument for playing Bresnan as part of a 3 pace, 2 spin attack, given his batting strength (which would hardly weaken the England middle order on current form).

  • Hodra99 on February 16, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    @Gerard Pereira...perfect comment. Could not agree more!

  • landl47 on February 16, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    I said before the tour started that Bopara should be in the test team instead of Morgan. He's a better bat (check their respective test and first-class averages) and can bowl some containing overs. I think there are better players coming up, but they aren't ready yet. If England are going to go with four bowlers then I'd take Bopara every time ahead of Morgan for the test team. Incidentally, I'm not sure why the writer talks about Finn displacing Broad or Anderson from the test team, unless he's thinking purely of the sub-continent. Finn's going to replace Tremlett or Bresnan in tests where England play 3 seamers. With only 4 bowlers being selected, it has to be the best four and Finn is one of those.

  • Lmaotsetung on February 16, 2012, 22:27 GMT

    As one of the biggest Bopara fan, his performance so far has been ho hum. Yes he scored 2 half centuries but as this stage of his career, I'd expect no less than a big score every time he comes in to bat early in the inning. @ Gerard Pereira - yeah they are 2 ducks out of water....no different than your Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, M.Viyaj, S. Badrinath, etc. No different than any of the indian so called next generation of superstars who can't play the short ball or have trouble with the ball moving 0.0001 millimeters.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on February 16, 2012, 22:27 GMT

    @Gerald Peraria - India funny guy! You love attention don't you. I know you are not bothered about facts but here are some facts about your "duck out of water" Bopara; this is guy who was caning India in ODI in England last summer averaging 65 with SR 101. Maybe you forgot or didn't notice but England won that series 3-0 largely due to his batting, but if you think he is "duck out of water" you carry on and think that if you like. And he's only 26. Most India faded stars are 10-12 years older. Given their recent form Indians should know plenty about ducks, ducks out of water and dead ducks.... so no lectures from Indians especially here on Pak V Eng forums.

  • donda on February 16, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Good job england, win the series and stay happy because pakistan looks already happy with test series white wash. Now it's your time to white wash ODI series and then we can settle down whole tour in T2020.

    In the end T2020 becomes the most important part of tour now. Who ever wins that will go home real happy.

    Funny T2020 is now taking more importance than ODI and test matches. Woh IPL is great.

  • tiseye on February 16, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    Gerard Pereira - probably the most stupid comment i have read for a long time!

  • RAVI_BOPARA on February 16, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    NEED TO GET BACK INTO THE TEST TEAM QUICKLYYY!!!!!!!!!

  • Valavan on February 16, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Well said Gerard pereira, the same is applicable to Rohit sharma and Ravindra jadeja, they are just from the country with 1 billion supporters but in international arena they are just smoke without any fire. cricinfo please publish.

  • voma on February 16, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    I think most England fans enjoy watching Ravi Bopara bat , as an essex fan . I have allways supported him through his career , i think he is a brilliant player . When his mind is on the job ! , but he has had plenty of chances now . Honestly it must be the last chance saloon for him , well done lad . Keep it up

  • OhhhMattyMatty on February 16, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Not good enough at Test level, as he's proven continuously! But I have no problem with him playing in the ODI and T20 format. At least until Buttler, Bairstow, Stokes and Taylor are ready to step up!

  • on February 16, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Morgan and Bopara two ducks out of water on the International Cricket scene . Take your pick they are as bad as each other.

  • Joninnorwich on February 16, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    I like Bopara. always have and in one dayers he and Morgan should both play. Morgan's a class one dayer who is having a rough trot at the moment, but I don't rate Morgan as a test batsman.

    Bopara has it in him to be England's latter day Collingwood and while he may lack Collingwood's brilliant fielding, he is potentially a far better batsman and an equally good fill-in bowler. Personally, I would give him the no 5 position in the test side and the kind of go at it that Morgan has had.

  • torsha on February 16, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    He is much better than Bell and Morgan probably, well at-least in sub-continent conditions. If you can't give him a chance outside of sub-continent then you can't say that he isn't good in those conditions.

  • on February 16, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    big shame he didn't play in the tests, couldn't have been any worse then Morgan

  • on February 16, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Cook and Finn have impressed me but not Bopara, yet. I reckon he's just had it easy with Misbah's over defensive fields. His true test would be in those circumstances when those singles become all too difficult and surviving out there holding onto your wicket is actually a factor.

  • Haleos on February 16, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    He should never have been dropped.

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  • Haleos on February 16, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    He should never have been dropped.

  • on February 16, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Cook and Finn have impressed me but not Bopara, yet. I reckon he's just had it easy with Misbah's over defensive fields. His true test would be in those circumstances when those singles become all too difficult and surviving out there holding onto your wicket is actually a factor.

  • on February 16, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    big shame he didn't play in the tests, couldn't have been any worse then Morgan

  • torsha on February 16, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    He is much better than Bell and Morgan probably, well at-least in sub-continent conditions. If you can't give him a chance outside of sub-continent then you can't say that he isn't good in those conditions.

  • Joninnorwich on February 16, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    I like Bopara. always have and in one dayers he and Morgan should both play. Morgan's a class one dayer who is having a rough trot at the moment, but I don't rate Morgan as a test batsman.

    Bopara has it in him to be England's latter day Collingwood and while he may lack Collingwood's brilliant fielding, he is potentially a far better batsman and an equally good fill-in bowler. Personally, I would give him the no 5 position in the test side and the kind of go at it that Morgan has had.

  • on February 16, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Morgan and Bopara two ducks out of water on the International Cricket scene . Take your pick they are as bad as each other.

  • OhhhMattyMatty on February 16, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Not good enough at Test level, as he's proven continuously! But I have no problem with him playing in the ODI and T20 format. At least until Buttler, Bairstow, Stokes and Taylor are ready to step up!

  • voma on February 16, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    I think most England fans enjoy watching Ravi Bopara bat , as an essex fan . I have allways supported him through his career , i think he is a brilliant player . When his mind is on the job ! , but he has had plenty of chances now . Honestly it must be the last chance saloon for him , well done lad . Keep it up

  • Valavan on February 16, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Well said Gerard pereira, the same is applicable to Rohit sharma and Ravindra jadeja, they are just from the country with 1 billion supporters but in international arena they are just smoke without any fire. cricinfo please publish.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on February 16, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    NEED TO GET BACK INTO THE TEST TEAM QUICKLYYY!!!!!!!!!