Bopara proving a big hit, clinches No.3 spot

April 30th, 2009 - 4:16 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 30 (ANI): Indian origin England batsman Ravi Bopara has been preferred for the No.3 position for the first Test against West Indies, beating Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Owais Shah to get the coveted spot.

Coach Andy Flower spent Monday with the selectors - Miller, James Whitaker and Ashley Giles - at the National Academy in Loughborough. And the squad they emerged with has set England on a fresh course.

Miller quite rightly insisted that there are any number of players who can force their way back into contention for the Test squad, including Vaughan, he hoped it would send a clear message to the players that consistent, current performance will go rewarded, not reputation or perceived class.

Flower and Strauss both rate Bopara, 23, who impressed with a debut century in his maiden Test in Barbados.

“There was a lot of competition for that batting position, but Bopara now has the opportunity to stake a claim,” said Miller.

“He showed in Barbados he has the ability to play at Test level,” The Daily Express quoted Miller, as saying.

Bell might consider himself the most unlucky after having hit the form at the right time.

“We need to get him more passionate about playing so he doesn’t lose his place again,” said Miller.

Miller added that in a break with normal practice, the squad for the second Test at the Riverside is to be announced “towards the end” of the Lord’s Test. (ANI)

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