Friday 4 January 2008 

Bopara Vows To Bounce Back After Test Omission

Essex all-rounder Ravinder Bopara has set his sights on an England recall after being omitted from the Test squad for the series in New Zealand in March.

Bopara was selected for all three Tests in Sri Lanka last month but was unable to make a sufficient impression to retain his spot for the upcoming tour.

The 22-year-old has been selected for the one-day squad for the five-ODI series against New Zealand in February.

Speaking at the press conference to announce the touring sides, Chairman of Selectors David Graveney said:

“It was a hard call on Ravi, who I have spoken to. He still retains his position in the one-day squad. He’s an immense talent and he’ll play a huge part in the future.”

Bopara spoke exclusively to the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk) after his Test omission.

Essex CCC: You’ve made the one-day squad for New Zealand but not the Test squad. After the way the Test series went in Sri Lanka did you think that would be the case?

Ravinder Bopara: I expected to be in the one-day squad because that has been my strength (in international cricket) so far. I was unsure about the Tests. If I’d been picked I would have been delighted but if not it wasn’t going to be the end of the world. Now it’s up to me to knuckle down and do the work to create another opportunity for myself to play Test cricket.

I’ve come up with a few plans to make that happen and will do whatever it takes to get another chance. Hopefully I can prove a point in the one-dayers by scoring some runs and also doing the job required with the ball if I get that opportunity.

Essex CCC: You didn’t score the runs you’d have liked in Sri Lanka but do you feel you returned a better player?

Bopara: Mentally, yes, and also technically, yes, but stats-wise, no. The failures I experienced out there have made me hungrier and taught me a few lessons. I’ve come back even more focused and hungry to work hard on my game to get back into the side.

Essex CCC: Chairman of Selectors David Graveney mentioned in the press conference that you sustained a finger injury during the last Test in Sri Lanka – how much did that contribute to your pair?

Bopara: I dislocated a finger on the second morning so that obviously doesn’t help when batting. It was kept quiet at the time and I just went about my business in the match. Things didn’t work out for me but I don’t blame it on the finger – I’m not using it as an excuse.

© Essex CCC