Are you happy with Ravi Bopara being in England’s World Cup squad?

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How would you describe this expression? Vexed?

We are. We’d rather have Eoin Morgan, but if he’s got a knackered finger, we’ll settle for Bopara.

This is a somewhat unfashionable opinion at the minute and we’re pretty sure it’s because of that phenomenon where Ashes performances are almost wholly responsible for forming people’s opinions.

In 2009, Ravi Bopara had seven Ashes innings, batting at three, and scored ever-so-slightly more than ball-all. But this followed three hundreds in three innings against the West Indies. The West Indies attack isn’t what it was, but how many people score three Test hundreds on the bounce?

We’ve never done it. We can’t succeed at anything three times in a row. Come the third swig of beer, we’ll tip the glass prematurely or apply it to the wrong part of our face. Doing anything three times in a row is hard and scoring three Test hundreds in a row particularly so.

As for one-day cricket, Bopara scored a double hundred once which is pretty exceptional. It doesn’t mean he’ll do it in the World Cup final, but it does mean he’s far too good for county cricket, which is a pretty good qualification for international cricket.

He had four one-day matches for England in 2010 and generally appeared with about five overs to go. He managed to score 103 runs off 71 balls in total, which adds up to some handy late innings sloggery and also smacks of a man trying to make the most of the few chances he gets.

We also like Ravi Bopara because we can make jokes about his tiling ability.


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  1. Is it unfashionable? I don’t know anyone who knows about cricket who is vehermently anti-Bopara joining the squad. I think most people recognise that he should have been there ahead of Wright in the first place, hard trier though Wright is.

    If Bopara can do as he did in the last World Cup and take a wicket every 5 overs while going at less than 5 an over, and average 33 from number 7, then that would be fantastic….

  2. I’m pleased for R-Bop, as the Americans might call him; he deserves another shot. I am also pleased that I get to use this new Star Wars droid-like nickname for the next few weeks.

  3. I am vehemently opposed to Bopara joining the squad. I recognise that Wright should be in ahead of him, being as he is a hard trier. Bopara has no chance of doing what he did in the last World Cup, when he averaged 33 from number 7 and took a wicket every 5 overs at less than 5 an over. That would be fantastical.

    That’s just my first thoughts on the matter, apropos of nothing. I’m completely sure though that no-one could possibly disagree with it in any way whatsoever.

    We are talking about rugby, aren’t we?

  4. Isn’t this supposed to be the sort of thing we’re completely indifferent about? I grow suspicious of our King. Whatever happened to “not something we necessarily would have done, but can kind of see the thinking behind it”?

    I like RavBo. I like the way he answers a question as though he thought of the question himself, and the interviewer isn’t really there. I’d play him ahead of Mike Yardy at any rate.

  5. Howe Zat:

    I concur. This is a rather opinionated piece.

    I’m reasonably pleased about it myself. He’s not brilliant in an Eoin Morganish manner, but he’s better at doing the job Luke Wright is supposed to do than Luke Wright is. Overall, I’d say I’m 6/10 on the happy scale.

  6. If today’s warm up match is anything to go by, this is a hypothetical discussion. Fifteen-a-side, eleven for batting and eleven for fielding, with Bopara in the fifteen, but he didn’t get a bat and didn’t get a bowl. I’m not even sure he got on the field.

    Now, since we’ve established that this is a hypothetical discussion, it follows that none of what we say will be taken into account by the England team management. We’ve always got to be careful, as this might not always be the case. What we say could affect the selection and tactics. Please bear this in mind when you comment in future. However, in this case we are freed from this burden and can therefore speculate. So I would like to suggest that Ravi Bopara should open the batting and the bowling, but only if he does so in drag. Look at his picture – you know its the right thing to do.

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