Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan backs Ravi Bopara for World Cup

Former England captain Michael Vaughan tips all-rounder Ravi Bopara to make the squad for the World Cup next February

By Sam Rogers

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has tipped Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara to make the squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February despite his omission from the current squad.

Vaughan, who played 86 ODIs for his country and captained the side, has admitted he is staggered that Bopara isn’t in the side for the current series against India, but believes he will be involved when the squad is finalised later this year.

He’s played 108 games and, to think we’re so close to a World Cup and we’re throwing away all that experience and know-how

Michael Vaughan

“I’m amazed and staggered he is not here,” Vaughan said.

“Ravi could probably be considered in the last 18 months at least, England’s best one-day cricketer, five, six and seven are the hardest places to bat in one-day cricket, they are the pressure zones.

“He was beginning to really read games, when he would walk out to the middle it looked as though he was half in control whereas in the past I’ve seen him walk out and thought he would panic.”

“He’s played 108 games and, to think we’re so close to a World Cup and we’re throwing away all that experience and know-how. Also, his bowling ability on flat wickets; his changes of pace and angles – will be missed and I’d be amazed if he wasn’t back in for the World Cup.”

Vaughan believes the problems that England endure in limited overs cricket are not necessarily the fault of the current crop of players but more the attitude to format that haven’t changed in a number of years.

The 39-year-old cites the way selectors have often chosen more patient and orthodox Test players over the more dynamic limited-overs specialists, which in turn is leaving England behind the other Test playing nations in the shorter forms of the game.

“In English cricket we do it so often, If you look at the last five England captains, Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain, myself, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, we are all Test players,” said Vaughan.

“We were all brought up playing the forward defensive and leaving it around the off stump, occupying the crease, playing for a bit of time, and we were all one-day captains.

“We’ve made the same mistake now as we did in my time, five to six years ago and in the 1990s.

“The other teams have gone for power at the top and all the way through. India have got strikers all the way down the order, South Africa and Australia the same. You need power at the top, in the middle and at the end.”

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