:England all-rounder Ravi Bopara is eager to capitalise against a Sri Lankan batting order sans the services of the veteran Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, come next week’s one-off Twenty20 International at The Oval.
Bopara has been named in a strong T20I squad that also includes batsmen Ian Bell and Michael Carberry. Opener Michael Lumb and Jade Dernbach, however, were overlooked.
Sangakkara and Jayawardene retired from the shortest format of the international game earlier this year, when the Sri Lankans beat India in the final to claim the World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh.
“Sri Lanka are the best at Twenty20 cricket. They’re very good at what they do. But they’ll have a couple of key players missing in Sangakkara and Jayawardene and hopefully that will be a massive hole in their middle order that we can exploit,” said Bopara.
“It doesn’t matter who you play against, whether it’s Sri Lanka or the Netherlands or India, T20 is tough. If you have a bad 10 minutes it’s hard to get it back because the game is so short .
“You can’t afford to think ‘I’ll get into this’ and that you can get away with one over because you won’t, especially in international cricket. You’ve got to be on your skills straight away – that’s the key.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board orchestrated an overhaul in the coaching staff recently, hiring Lancashire’s Peter Moores as head coach, former Sri Lanka head coach Paul Farbrace as assistant – and appointed Nottinghamshire’s Mick Newell to the selection panel.
“It’s going quite nicely. We went to Scotland and that worked out really well. The boys worked really hard. Moores has been brilliant. I’ve always enjoyed playing under him. I’m looking forward to this month and hopefully a few more months down the line as well,” added Bopara.