Ravi believes England can win cup

ESSEX'S Ravinder Bopara believes England can win the 2007 Cricket World Cup after their recent success at the Commonwealth Bank Series.Bopara was named in the World Cup squad after impressing as a late call up for the injured Kevin Pietersen in one of England's three recent one-day victories over Australia.

ESSEX'S Ravinder Bopara believes England can win the 2007 Cricket World Cup after their recent success at the Commonwealth Bank Series.

Bopara was named in the World Cup squad after impressing as a late call up for the injured Kevin Pietersen in one of England's three recent one-day victories over Australia.

He said: “I took the call the night before the squad was announced and since then I've had the last few days off, in which I have been able to sit down and reflect. To be honest, I'm just excited and I just can't wait to get out and play.”

Chairman of selectors David Graveney included Bopara, an aggressive batsmen and brisk medium pace bowler, on the basis that he is a 'multi-dimensional' cricketer and would bring 'better balance to the squad'.


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Taking the key wicket of Australia's Ashes hero Michael Hussey in the recent series certainly did Bopara's increasing all-rounder tag no harm.

Speaking on the wicket he said: “I guess it was a big moment for me and has sort of helped me to build my bowling profile, but batting is my main strength and always will be.”

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While there were few surprises in the squad, Bopara's selection is viewed as one of the bigger gambles made by Graveney, as at just 21 Bopara still has much valuable batting experience to gain.

However, Bopara's aggressive, often cavalier shot selection could add to the slowly rebuilding confidence of his team mates who took such a battering in their 5-0 Ashes whitewash.

He said: “The mood in the camp is very upbeat and positive and I hope I can bring even more energy to it. We have beaten the team ranked No. 1 in the world for the last three games in a row so there is no reason why we can't win the World Cup.

“We've got a great bunch of lads who have made me feel very comfortable and important. Michael Vaughan has been really good, he has helped me along the way and given me lots of advice.”

Bopara's rise has been largely down to catching the eye as an integral part of the Essex side who have enjoyed much success in limited overs cricket in recent years.

He said: “It always helps when you are playing in a successful side because it brings a winning habit.

“Being around experienced people like Graham Gooch, Ronnie Irani and Andy Flower at Essex has been a great help.

“It's not just been them either, the whole squad is a great bunch of lads who are particularly close, we have sort of been like a family.”

Before his career at Essex took off, Bopara developed his game at Hainault and Clayhill after coming through London's inner-city schools cricket scheme Capital Kids.

Looking back,Bopara said: “As a youngster I always wanted to play for England and always looked at myself as being an England player.

“I didn't think it would come at 21, but I've always tried my best and hopefully I can take things even further now.

“It will be a little bit strange coming up against players like Sachin Tendulkar who I have idolised, but I won't be affected because it is all about challenging myself against these type of players now.”

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