Pietersen backs ‘free spirited’ Bopara to fire against Aussies during Ashes

May 10th, 2009 - 1:21 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 10 (ANI): England all rounder Kevin Pietersen is confident that Indian born Ravi Bopara can shock the Australians later this summer with his audacious shot-making and ice cool temperament.

Bopara’s dazzling ton against West Indies ended England’s problem No.3 spot ahead of the Ashes. He proved that Pietersen is not the only match-winner in town as his second hundred on the spin powered England to a 10-wicket triumph inside three days.

“Ravi Bopara is a free spirit the way he goes about his business. He is a very cool guy and a very chilled out guy. It’s exactly what we need - a cool, calm, calculated customer batting at No.3 who will not be fazed by Australia,” Pietersen said.

“It’s something we need in the England dressing room, the free spirits. I see a lot of me in him in the way he does things. He always asks questions and he is always willing to get better.

“We need guys who play without fear and who want to take on the opposition and really, really give it to the opposition,” he said.

“Those are the kind of guys we need in the England dressing room. Ravi is a little superstar. He has got an opportunity to nail down that No.3 spot and I know he will take it with both hands,” News of the World quoted Bopara, as saying.

Bopara’s 143 in the opening Npower Test increases the pressure on out-of-favour stars Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Owais Shah.

Pietersen added: “It’s great that Ravi has come in and made his case for the No.3 spot. He has batted twice in Test matches this year and scored hundreds in both innings. He has staked a huge, huge claim for that position against Australia. It’s up to him as to how long he wants to keep No.3.”

Star batsman Pietersen has taken 24-year-old Bopara, nearly five years his junior, under his wing and told him to keep being himself.

“A lot of things can happen in an English dressing room which can put people off. Ravi just goes out and plays. He needs to keep doing that. I have backed him from the moment he came into the squad and I’ll keep backing him,” Pietersen admitted. (ANI)

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