BATTING HIGHER

Ravi Bopara has said that he would like to bat a little higher in the batting order for England especially in the shortest format of the game i.e. the T20s.

Bopara was one of the best performers for England in the T20 series against Australia.

In the first match of that series, he had scored 65 runs with a strike rate of more than 200 and if he had got ample support, he would probably have taken his team home that day. His performance in the next two matches was decent too.

But, in all those games, he batted in the lower middle order which he is not quite familiar to.

Bopara reckons that if he is given the opportunity to bat in the top order or in the higher middle order for that matter, he would get more time to get his eyes in and after that he would be able to go real big in the last few overs.

When asked if he is happy batting at 6 or 7 in the T20 international matches, Bopara said, “If I am honest, I would say no. It’s always ideal to have a bit of look in before starting to play big shots, but, if you are coming in at 7, you can’t do that. However, it’s important to be ready to do anything for the team’s sake.”

Bopara has already played 99 One Day international matches for England and he is very excited about playing his 100th one.

Talking about that, the all rounder said, “It really feels nice to have represented my nation in so many games, but, I do think that there is a lot of cricket left in me. I want to play many more games.”

Bopara has scored more than 2000 runs in ODIs for England.

BAD TO WORSE

England’s performance on the tour of Australia has gone from bad to worse. They are now very close to losing the Ashes series as at the end of Day 3 of the 3rd test match at Perth, they were 369 runs behind Australia. The hosts still have 7 wickets in hand and they would undoubtedly be posting a target in excess of 500 in front of England.

The condition of the Perth pitch is deteriorating very quickly and it’s very hard to imagine that the England side which is very low on confidence at the moment would be able to bat for 5 sessions or so and save the test match. So, if one says that the little urn has now gone out of the hands of England, it would not be an overstatement.

However, despite the fact that their defeat is almost certain in Perth, the English side would like to put up a fight just to bring a bit of momentum back in their favour. They have been absolutely trashed by the Aussies so far, but, if they manage to lessen the margin of their defeat by batting well in the second innings in Perth, that would give them some confidence for the last 2 test matches.

At this point of time, it seems that the Aussies would secure a whitewash quite easily and that would be a big humiliation for England. They had arrived here in Australia as one of the best test teams in the world and to go back from here after getting whitewashed is the last thing that they want.

The England team management needs to make some hard calls. There is no harm in giving the youngsters a go in the last two test matches which are going to take place in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.