Bopara responds in style to Test omission

Ravi Bopara responded to his omission from the England side for the opening Test against Pakistan with an unbeaten 88 for Essex in their nine-wicket Clydesdale Bank 40 victory against Northamptonshire.

That performance followed a hundred in each innings against County Championship leaders Yorkshire and the stylish 25-year-old has now totalled 542 runs in his last seven innings for the county in all competitions, including three centuries and two fifties, at an average of 108.40.

“I’m naturally disappointed that I didn’t get selected but I can’t worry about it,” he said. “I’m past that stage of my career and I accept that I’ll just have to keep getting my head down and keep scoring plenty of runs for Essex and be ready and prepared to take my chance when it does come.

“I feel in really good form and I’m playing with the confidence to hit through my shots and hit the ball hard in any situation which is what it’s all about these days.

“But I have to be patient and I’ve learned enough lessons in the past to stop getting too excited about things now. If you try too hard, and things don’t go as you want, you get disappointed and maybe more frustrated.

“A game of cricket is a game of cricket, it’s not life and death and I play because I enjoy it.”

England national selector Geoff Miller admitted that Bopara was unlucky to miss out on an England recall.

“Ravi has been in good form but we have created our quality through consistency and we need to see a more from Eoin (Morgan),” he explained.

“There are a lot of people waiting in the wings and there are always people that will be unlucky.”

Former England captain Graham Gooch, who is also Essex’s batting coach, believes it is only matter of time before Bopara is back in the England set-up.

“Ravi has been in great form these past few weeks and it’s good to see him playing with maturity and managing his talent,” said Gooch.

“We all know what a gift he’s got and he’s just got to keep scoring runs for Essex which will be good for the team he’s playing for and good for him and his future chances of getting back into the England side.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that he will be recalled at some stage. In this instance, the selectors have decided that they want to stick with Eoin Morgan, and as far as I’m concerned that’s fair enough because he’s a good cricketer.

“The best thing that Ravi can do is to keep racking up the runs and keep the pressure on.”

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