Ravi Bopara’s Test tour of Sri Lanka was complete toss, with innings of eight and 34 on his debut preceding a grim duck sandwich, with two golden ducks as the bread and an altogether meatier seven ball duck as filling.
On that evidence, some people think they’ve seen the back of Ravi Bopara and they’re glad. He doesn’t help his cause by bowling a bit of medium-pace. This is an incredibly bad idea if you’re a batsman, as you inevitably get tarred with the ‘bits and pieces’ brush. Yes, there is such a brush. We’ve seen it. It’s huge.
Ravi Bopara’s played three innings so far this season. He’s hit 150, 99 (off 87 balls) and 136 not out (next highest score – 27). He averaged 62 last season. This is a serious batsman.
So at 22, it would be foolish to discard Bopara. It would be wasteful too. You should never give up on players after a bad series. Sometimes it’s the making of them. It might have brought a technical flaw to his attention or taught him to approach things differently. Either way, it could prove invaluable.
There’s no better example than the man who’s coached Bopara since he was 15, Graham Gooch.
Gooch said that his struggles against Terry Alderman’s swing in 1989 were the making of him because it taught him to play straighter.
Gooch’s Test record up to and including that series was 73 matches, 4,724 runs, eight hundreds and an average of 36.90. His record after that series was 45 matches, 4,176 runs, 12 hundreds and an average of 51.55.
The best players learn from bad experiences.