By Ashish Shukla
Birmingham: Aug 8, 2011
England middle-order batsman Ravi Bopara credited his side's back-to-back Test win over world number one India to their incisive bowling which he said has unsettled the visitors in the series so far.
"We have performed very well and made it difficult for India to get going. We have bowled very well; bowled with great plans and moved the ball in the air which is difficult for all Indian batsmen," Bopara said.
"And when it comes to batting, the batters have got big runs. A lot of injuries though have not helped India," said Bopara, who was named in place of injured Jonathan Trott, ahead of the third Test beginning here on Wednesday.
He said England would not switch on to complacency mode after taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead and will play to win the remaining two matches.
"We want to show the same attitude as in the first two Test and want to every Test," stated Bopara who is slated to play in the third Test at Edgbaston here.
Bopara, of Indian descent, will be playing his first Test against the country of his origin and the very thought fills him with excitement.
"It feels good to play against Sachin whom I have admired for long. I want to hurry up on starts, play today rather than wait till Wednesday. I feel very happy to get the opportunity and can't wait. My family of course supports England," he said.
Bopara said that he wants to make it count for England, knowing well that Trott would be back once he is declared fit.
"I know I have a game, or at the most two. If he is fit, he would walk straight back into the team. It's good to be back even though it's not ideal when a mate is injured. But it's an opportunity to play Test cricket and do well.
"I have to put pressure on other people to get in, knock others out. It's a great opportunity to get some runs and tell the selectors and coaches that I am the next man. Trott came in for me and got a hundred (against Australia) and I hope I can do the same what he did a couple of years ago," he said.
Bopara, who has 502 runs from 10 Tests at 33.47 average with three centuries, claimed he is now a more well-rounded batsman than he was three years ago.
"When I was dropped, may be I was not ready in terms of having a well-rounded game," he said.
Another criticism against Bopara has been that if he is not fluent at the crease, he finds it difficult to go through the day.
"Every batsman will find it hard to bat through if he is not batting well. But I scored that 140 against West Indies at Lord's when there were not many scored by others."
Bopara said the role of batting coach Graham Gooch and head coach Andy Flower has not been insignificant in England's rise.
"Gooch is a very good batting coach. He focuses on basics and has a massive role to play. It's apparent from lot of runs scored by England. Flower is a disciplined and a hard man to please. He makes it tough on himself and that probably makes you try even harder," he said.