Test duck-scoring shortarse with a point to prove, Ravi Bopara, proved his point weeks ago. Ravi’s now had his point embossed on his batting glove and his systematically punching everyone in the face with it. If you don’t know that Ravi Bopara is serious about playing for England, you’ll see it indented in your forehead next time you look in the mirror.
This season’s first-class average of 85.66 is better than okay. His Friends Provident Trophy average of 91 is mighty. Hitting a one-day double hundred – 201 not out to be precise – is just supreme.
One-day double hundreds are rare things indeed. No-one’s ever managed one in one-day internationals and this was only the eighth in senior limited overs history. The most recent was by Mohammad Ali for Customs v Defence in Pakistan. Not THE Mohammad Ali, we’d guess – a different one who’s hit 207 of his 752 one-day runs in one innings.
The highest one-day score of all time was Alistair Brown’s barely-believable 268 off 160 balls for Surrey against Glamorgan. Even more amazingly, that wasn’t Ali Brown’s only one-day double hundred. Nobody else has ever scored a second.
To return to Ravi Bopara, we previously said that his failures in Sri Lanka might have brought a technical flaw to his attention. Apparently it did. We also said that that might prove invaluable. Bopara says he’s worked on a few things and has eliminated one of his ways of getting out.
That word again: ‘eliminated’. Strong words. Strong words backed up by increasingly strong performances.