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Broad offers Bopara support
Under-fire all-rounder gets his captain's backing as his struggle in international cricket continues
10 September 2012 - 04:37pm IST
England T20 captain Stuart Broad is backing Ravi Bopara to make an imminent return to form.
Bopara has scored only 28 runs for England in five limited-overs innings following a lay-off due to personal issues.The right-hander’s toils continued in the first T20I against South Africa when he was caught at slip off his nemesis Dale Steyn.
The pace bowler also dismissed Bopara twice in the England man’s only appearance in the Test series between the countries this summer as well as in the final ODI.
Bopara may not have been the only batsman to labour during England’s seven-wicket defeat on Saturday but his dismissal for six encapsulated a tame batting surrender.
Broad conceded: “Ravi’s struggled the last couple of weeks, but he’s working very hard on putting that right. You know as a batsman you can be one shot away from something clicking, and finding yourself back in form - and Twenty20 cricket is probably the perfect format for that, because you can play with a bit of licence and let that freedom come back to your game.
“We hope Ravi can get back to that, because he’ll be an important player for us in Sri Lanka (in the ICC World T20) - not just with the bat, but I think his bowling will be useful on those sorts of wickets.”
Bopara’s form with the ball was far more impressive during the drawn ODI series against the Proteas and he will need to contribute in both disciplines to keep fellow all-rounder Luke Wright at bay.
The Sussex player has performed well in county cricket of late and Broad is pleased to have plenty of options as preparations for the ICC World T20 begin in earnest.
Broad noted: “Someone like Wrighty has played some really good knocks in domestic cricket in the past couple of weeks. Going into this [tournament], there will certainly be a chance to have a look at some different options for guys to impress. There’s going to be some opportunities available. It’s up to the guys to really grab them.”England will be hoping to get back to winning ways in Monday’s second T20I at Old Trafford."
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