Shoaib Akhtar Video Score: five / five
Ravi Bopara just can’t believe that he has not been named in England’s 15-member squad for the ODI series against India. It’s a big surprise for him as it is for all the cricket fans in the country.
However, the all rounder has not given up on his World Cup chances yet. He is hopeful that he would get a recall for the matches against Sri Lanka that will be played towards the end of this year.
According to Bopara, when one of the members of the selection committee rang him, he thought it would be to tell him that he was selected, but, to his shock, it wasn’t the case.
In an interview yesterday, Bopara said, “When my phone rang and I saw the selector’s name on the screen, I thought he would just let me know that I was in the squad, but, what I heard from the other side was unbelievable. For a few seconds, I thought this must be not for real, but, unfortunately, that was and that happens in sports.”
“I was told that my performance for the ‘A’ side was good, but, sadly, there was no place for me in this squad. The selector did try to convey to me that I was still in the mix and a recall in the next series was not out of the equation.”
“When such things happen to you, you start thinking a lot, but, I am not going to do that. I believe in my work ethic and I am hopeful about my future.”
Many English commentators have criticized Bopara’s omission from the ODI squad. The former captain Michael Vaughan even went on to say that the Essex man had been the best limited-over player for the Three Lions in the past 15 months and his exclusion is senseless.
Alastair Cook, the England captain, and Peter Moores, the England coach, will have some selection decisions to make ahead of the second test match of the ongoing series against India.
In the first match that had taken place at Nottingham, England did well. But, quite clearly, at times, they felt the need of a quality spinner. They had gone into the match with 4 fast bowlers and they had a couple of part time spin options in addition to that, but, the pitch there was dead and thus, the fast bowlers couldn’t hurry the batsmen.
A quality spinner could have done some damage though because of the rough that had been created in some parts of the pitch, but, England didn’t have anyone good enough to take advantage of that. They tried Root and Moeen, but, they were handled with comfort by the Indians.
Simon Kerrigan has been recalled into the test squad by the English selectors for the Lord’s test match. He had made his debut last year against Australia and had been pummelled by Shane Watson. He would certainly not have forgotten that yet.
At Lord’s, if he plays, he would have even a bigger challenge to face because the Indians are extremely good against slow bowling.
Lord’s is not known for producing turning tracks though. There might be slight wear and tear on the pitch towards the end of the match, but, generally, it’s a good batting track. So, the England team management might go with an all pace attack again keeping Kerrigan in the wings.
However, in case England goes with Kerrigan, it will be hard for them to decide whom to leave out because at Nottingham, there was hardly anybody in their camp who did poorly given the nature of the pitch.
MS Dhoni, the captain of the Chennai Super Kings, was not happy with the way some of the senior players of his team batted in the second qualifier of the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League.
CSK lost that match against the Kings XI Punjab by 24 runs to get knocked out of the tournament. It was the first occasion in the last 5 years that they couldn’t make it to the final.
Punjab had posted a huge score of 226 runs on the board batting first and replying to that, the Super Kings had got themselves in a very good position at one point of time. They were 100 for the loss of 2 wickets after the competition of 6 overs and from there on, they needed just about 9 runs an over which was not such a difficult task on that placid Wankhede track.
But, some very irresponsible batting happened from the CSK side after that and they fell short of the target at the end.
Dhoni was particularly unhappy with the overseas batsmen who despite being so experienced didn’t show enough application and got out playing in weird manner.
Brendon McCullum got run out because he was not ready for the second run even after playing the ball quite a bit away from the fielder, while, David Hussey got out trying to play a half hearted pull shot.
CSK just had to keep their calm a little bit during that phase and they would have been able to cross the line.
Dhoni fought the lone battle at the end, but, that didn’t prove to be enough. He remained not out on 42.
CSK already has a couple of IPL titles under their belt though. They had won successively in 2011 and 2012.