World Cup cricket: Ravi Bopara keen to fire for England

United News of India

Bangalore, February 24, 2011

England's last-minute replacement and middle-order contributor Ravi Bopara is confident that the team would put up a better show against India in their Group B Match of the World Cup to be played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 27.

Talking to newsmen here today, he said though India appeared to be a fancied team, "We have a strategy for every bowler and every batsman."

England arrived here late last night after their successful opening match against the Netherlands who put up an impressive tall score. The team will practise at the KSCA nets this afternoon.

Bopara, who says Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is his idol, came into the England team as a replacement to an injured Eoin Morgan barely two weeks before the World Cup commenced.

"England will be looking forward to their tie against India and is not unnerved by the aggressive tactics of opener Virender Shewag," he said.

"One-dayers requires aggression," said Bopara who fired 30 off 27 balls and saw the team through to victory against the Dutch.

Bopara was seen as a positive inclusion in the England team as he is a heavy hitter down the order against slow bowling and on slower pitches and the Indian conditions should suit him best.

Bopara said he is patient and will wait and perform to move up the batting order.

The Sussex player said his confidence over the last two years had improved tremendously and he was keen to contribute to the team.

"I have played in different countries and different conditions and am mature to prove myself," he added.

Unlike Morgan, he could also offer a bowling option to England with his slow bowling and operate in tandem with Paul Collingwood.

Bopara said he loved to play in India and the huge crowds with tremendous noise would not distract the team.

"After all we have come to entertain them," he said when asked whether the massive noise from the stands would deter him.

"No," came the instant reply when he was asked whether he missed Eden Gardens, as the match was shifted from Kolkata to Bangalore.

"I love playing in Bangalore. it has a nice atmosphere," he said.