We like it. Let’s put some mundane banalities into bullet point format to in no way support that.
- Proper batsman who bats at three for his county
- One of the few batsmen in county cricket who you could consider to have been exceptional over the last few years
- Massively confident
- Likely to get better
- Resilient and not intimidated by Test cricket
- Going to get worse
- Hasn’t actually scored a great many runs in a very long time
- Bit mental
- Not done a right lot
- Bit flaky
In short, we have more faith in Ravi Bopara doing the job than his rivals.
He might look worse than Bell, but anyone who tells you that technique is the most important thing for a Test batsman doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Ask Virender ‘see ball, hit ball’ Sehwag or Graeme ‘clumpy’ Smith.
Vaughan’s temperament is perhaps his strength, but how Bopara will cope with Test cricket is still largely unknown. He might respond just as well. Bopara seems like the type who might respond to big situations. He thinks he’s better than everyone else and you don’t get far without thinking that.
We said Bopara shouldn’t be discarded when he was first dropped and that droppage might prove the making of him, as it did for Graham Gooch. Since droppage Bopara’s scored runs remorselessly. He’s scored them everywhere. He even scored a one-day double hundred, which is just mental.
However, arguably the greatest benefit for the nation is that while he’s at the crease he’ll be a long way from any tiling jobs that need doing.