Champions Trophy: Ravi Bopara recalled to England one-day side

 

ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY

  • Venues: Edgbaston, The Oval, Cardiff
  • Date: 6-23 June

Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 LW & via BBC Sport website; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobile devices

England have recalled all-rounder Ravi Bopara for the one-day series against New Zealand and the Champions Trophy.

The 27-year-old has not played a one-day international since September 2012 and has not featured for England since the World Twenty20 in October.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann and pace bowler Tim Bresnan are included after recovering from elbow injuries.

Kevin Pietersen, who has played only five one-day internationals in the last year, is ruled out by a knee injury.

Ravi returns

In being recalled for the Champions Trophy, Ravi Bopara becomes one of six England players to have survived from the last tournament in South Africa in 2009. Eoin Morgan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan are the others.

With Pietersen unavailable, England were spared a tough decision at the top of the order, with captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan the likely top five, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler set to bat at six and Jonny Bairstow providing cover.

James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad and Bresnan make up the pace attack, with Chris Woakes edging out Jade Dernbach.

Bopara also provides an extra seam option and is selected ahead of Samit Patel, whose left-arm spin is perhaps more suitable on the sub-continent.

Kent captain James Tredwell, who impressed in India at the beginning of the year, provides off-spin back-up to Swann.

Bopara's international future looked in doubt after the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, when he scored one against the hosts in his only innings of the tournament.

That disappointment came at the end of a summer when he had won back a place in the Test side for the series opener against South Africa, only to be left out of the second match for personal reasons.

Bopara had earlier managed a run of 82, 33 not out and 52 not out in the ODI series win against Australia, but failed to make more than 16 in four one-day knocks against South Africa.

Analysis

It's a little bit of a risk having both Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan in the squad. Both say they are fully fit after having elbow operations in the United States; in fact Swann says his elbow has never felt any better. But, if they do break down, because these injuries are pre-existing, England will not be able to call up replacements.

The Essex man has a highest score of 64 in five County Championship innings this season but has not passed seven in his last three outings.

However, his useful medium pace looks to have counted in his favour for a tournament played in potentially bowler-friendly conditions in England in June, with two new white balls used for each innings.

"He's very adequate performer with the ball and we know what he is capable of doing with the bat," national selector Geoff Miller told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He can offer an awful lot to the team, bowling, fielding and batting as well. He's quite capable of doing the job depending on what the conditions are like."

The hosts open their campaign against Australia at Edgbaston on 8 June, before taking on other Group A opponents Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Group B is made up of South Africa, West Indies, India and Pakistan.

The England party of 15 will also face New Zealand in a three-match ODI series that precedes the Champions Trophy.

England Champions Trophy squad: Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell, (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad, (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset, wk), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Eoin Morgan, (Middlesex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell, (Kent), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).