The England captain Alastair Cook gave Ravi Bopara only 4 overs in the first ODI against Sri Lanka which was surprising for everyone.
If England is looking at Bopara as the all rounder who would fulfil the 5th bowler’s quota in the World Cup, then, he must be given as much bowling practice as possible in the matches ahead of the showpiece tournament.
The 4 overs that Bopara got in Colombo, he was pretty economical in that. He gave away only 15 runs, but, despite that, he was not given the ball in the slog overs when the other bowlers were disappearing all around the park.
Bopara has shown time and again how effective he is with the ball. No one can forget that Champions Trophy final which he had almost turned in England’s favour by dismissing three gun Indian batsmen in the middle part of the innings.
And, in Australian where the ball tends to reach the batsman a tad quicker, Bopara with his lower trajectory can be real handy.
But, a captain’s confidence is what he needs. Cook has to be courageous enough to toss the ball to him when the whips are cracking.
Bopara is one of those blokes in that England team who are very tough. He has been left out of the team quite often recently, sometimes, without any solid reason, but, he has dealt with all that very maturely.
Now, finally, the selectors seem to have decided that the Essex man would be there in the World Cup and would be filling that all rounder’s spot. So, it’s important he gets backed by his captain too.
In domestic List ‘A’ cricket, Bopara averages 26 with the ball which is quite good. He has taken 190 wickets in 253 matches there.