Monday, April 11, 2011

Test cricket is the 'pinnacle' - Bopara

England news

Test cricket is the 'pinnacle' - Bopara

ESPNcricinfo staff
April 10, 2011
England batsman Ravi Bopara has insisted that Test cricket is "the pinnacle" after putting his county ahead of a lucrative IPL contract in order to strengthen his claims for an England Test spot. Bopara, who made a low-key start to the County Championship for Essex against Kent at Chelmsford, was one of a host of players left unsold during the IPL auction in January.
Ravi Bopara
Rajasthan Royals, on the lookout for a replacement for Paul Collingwood, whose knee surgery ruled him out of the Twenty20 tournament, subsequently contacted Bopara with a £100,000 offer but he turned them down in order to focus on his return to the Test side.
"It was a tough decision [to turn down IPL offer], but my ambition as a youngster has always been to play Test cricket and to play for my country," Bopara "Not everything's about money. I've got to make sure I fulfil my ambitions and my talent as a cricketer. Although Twenty20 is a very important part of the game, Test cricket is always going to be the pinnacle."
Bopara, whose last Test was against Australia at Headingley in 2009, consulted Ronnie Irani and Graham Gooch prior to making his decision. "It's important for me to get back into that Test side," he said. "I recognise this is a great opportunity with a spot available, so I spoke to Graham Gooch and Ronnie Irani and they thought the best decision was for me to stay and perform for Essex and push for selection."
"Nothing's going to get me in that side apart from numbers. Wickets, runs, anything I can contribute to Essex will make a difference in me being selected. Every season is a big season, but this is my opportunity to get back into that team. There are spots available now, and somebody's got to take it."
The first Test of the English summer is on May 26, against Sri Lanka, and there is a vacancy to be filled in the middle order following Collingwood's retirement. Eoin Morgan is generally regarded as the favourite for the position having been the spare batsman in Australia, but he will spend the next five weeks at the IPL so a strong start from Bopara in the Championship will keep the selectors interested.
Bopara also comes with the advantage of being able to offer some useful overs which would replace the part-time medium pace of Collingwood and supplement a likely four-man attack from England.
Gooch, batting coach for England and Essex, agreed that Bopara could only force a return through good returns in the Championship. "I think he has made the right decision," he said. "He is very motivated to achieve and if he wants to make his mark on the Test side he will only do that with championship runs. He can't further his cause in the IPL, however many runs he gets."

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...