Bopara Replaces Bairstow In Opening Test Squad
England have recalled Ravi Bopara and James Anderson to a 13-man squad ahead of the first Test against South Africa, which begins on 19th July at the Kia Oval.
Bopara replaces Jonathan Bairstow, who played all three Tests against the West Indies, while Anderson returns having missed the final Test at Edgbaston with a thigh injury.
It is likely that Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn or Graham Onions will join Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann in a four-man bowling attack.
"We have played some very good cricket over the last couple of months in all formats to win series against West Indies and Australia and after a month of limited overs cricket, preparations are now underway for what is sure to be a very competitive Test series against South Africa," National Selector Geoff Miller said.
"We know we will need to play excellent cricket to win this three match series and the squad will be determined to start with a strong performance this week during the first Investec Test and set the tone for the rest of the series.
"Ravi Bopara has worked hard to regain his place in the Test squad following some injury concerns earlier in the season and is the only player included who is yet to play a Test match this summer."
Bopara missed the West Indies series due to injury but has subsequently been in outstanding form for Essex and also produced a number of impressive knocks in the 4-0 One-Day International series win against Australia.
Bairstow, on the other hand, failed to grasp his opportunity, scoring 38 runs in four innings. Bopara, who made his Test debut back in 2007, has scored 553 runs in 12 Tests, the last of which came against India last summer.
England Test squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott
© Cricket World 2012
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.