Bopara and Rashid need Test opportunity

I think England are in a great position as they look forward to the four-Test series against Pakistan and the start of the real build-up to the Ashes in Australia this winter.

But there are two players who I would like to see being given an opportunity against the Pakistanis, because I regard them as potentially world-class performers who would be well-suited to Test match conditions in Australia.

Ravi Bopara and Adil Rashid should both be involved now in England’s Test squad, if not the final eleven. Bopara is a class act as a batsman and can also make a contribution with the ball as well as in the field, while Rashid is a wrist spinner who would be well-suited to Australian pitches who also happens to be a very fine batsman.

Rashid, indeed, is a match-winning type of bowler in the sort of conditions that will probably be encountered during the Ashes series, and he is exactly the sort of all-round cricketer who could easily fill the number seven batting position and give England a much-needed fifth frontline bowler behind (I would imagine) Anderson, Broad, Finn and Swann.

To my mind, it is crazy that Rashid in particular has not played against the Bangladeshis either here at home or away earlier in the year. It seems as if some people get told to go and perform for their counties while others get fast-tracked into the England set-up.

As I say, though, I think England are looking very strong at the moment, with good competition for places across the board, but I feel they are missing a trick in the spin department in terms of finding a Test match partner, when needed, for Graeme Swann.

At Surrey, meanwhile, I believe that we are still showing signs of real improvement as we go into the second half of this hectic season, despite the fact that (as I write this) it is looking unlikely that we will make the quarter-finals of the Friends Provident t20.

If that is the case, then it will mean our whole 16-match South Group campaign will have turned on one game – or, to be more precise, one innings. Scott Styris’s remarkable hundred for Essex at Chelmsford on the evening of June 25 cost us a victory that seemed ours for the taking until the last five overs and Styris’s incredible hitting.

I think we were a bit na

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