Collingwood gives backing to Bopara
14:12 05 June 2015
Former England ODI captain says Essex all-rounder can still feature
FormerR England captain Paul Collingwood believes Ravi Bopara can thrive in the new culture surrounding the Three Lions’ limited-overs ethos, but only if he is willing to equip himself.
Following England’s disastrous World Cup campaign, Bopara was not shy in coming forward and offering his opinion as to what went so drastically wrong Down Under.
And it would appear that the powers-that-be were listening with all the talk ahead of this month’s Royal London ODI series against New Zealand being about how England are ready to try a new brand of cricket.
However, Bopara will be absent from the party after he was left out of the 14-man squad looking to get some revenge on the Black Caps after embarrassing England’s Test side at Headingley.
And while Collingwood – England’s most capped player in the 50-over format – insists Bopara’s international career is far from over, he acknowledges that the 30-year-old has flattered to deceive on the big stage so far.
“I guess Ravi would be seen at a crossroads, it’s really up to the individual themselves to go out there and take the bull by the horns and take his game to the next level,” said Collingwood, speaking as he launched Royal London’s summer of cricket, which includes the first Royal London One Day International, starting on Tuesday June 9 against New Zealand.
“Ravi is a guy who has had immense skill level right from day one, but if you look at his stats he probably hasn’t achieved what he could have achieved.
“Now with this new era, new dawn and new approach hopefully it brings the best out of the players, and certainly Ravi is a player that excites many people with what he can do on the pitch – not just with the bat but also with the ball.
“When you’ve got all-rounders like that he really does bring excitement to the team.”
Bopara is not the only experienced player to miss out on the ODIs against New Zealand as a new-look coaching set-up take a look at some of England’s promising youngsters.
James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali, Ian Bell and James Tredwell also miss out having played in the ill-fated World Cup campaign earlier this year.
However, the likes of uncapped Kent keeper-batsman Sam Billings have been given the chance and Collingwood says it could prove a wise decision in the quest to win back the Ashes this summer.
“I guess from the management side they’ll want to have a look at the next generation and see what they’ve got, and come up with a decision based on that,” he added.
“As a player you want to play for England as much as possible, but it’s certainly crucial that they’re rested and get their red-ball skills up to 100 per cent for the Ashes, but I would have thought they’d have been disappointed they’re not involved in the one-day games.”
*Paul Collingwood was speaking at the launch of the Royal London Gilbert Cup, a new grassroots U11 cricket tournament. See royallondoncricket.com for more.