So it’s Ravi Bopara who gets the nod to replace the injured Jonathan Trott in the England squad for the 3rd test starting at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Although he’s only 26 himself, I believe the chances are that this could be one of Ravi’s last chances to prove to the selectors that he can deliver at this level. Leicestershire’s James Taylor would appear to be breathing down his neck and at 21 the selectors might decide to invest in youth if Bopara fails to convince again.
There’s clearly no issue with Trott’s place in the side and he will walk back into the team as soon as he if fit. Bopara could score a double century in both innings and it still wouldn’t be enough to keep Trott out of the team.
Bopara’s only chance in the long run would be to replace Eoin Morgan in the No.6 slot. Morgan has played some good innings at times but hasn’t really nailed down his place in the side yet.
I do believe that the selectors aren’t totally convinced by the test credentials of either men, neither of them have really totally looked the part at test level too me so far. Morgan seems to be the mentally tougher of the two and that seems to have swung it in his favour so far.
Morgan will probably retain his place for a while longer as well, the team are currently winning and that buys the selectors time to give him a proper run in the side to access whether he has all the tools required to make it at test level, or become another Neil Fairbrother.
Chances are that no matter what Ravi does at Edgbaston he will be the one to make way when Trott returns. So all he can really do here is put down a marker that proves to the selectors that he is the next cab off the rank (as Geoff Miller regularly puts it) for the back up spot in future touring parties, or if an injury occurs. No pressure really!
Be interesting to see if Ravi is able to handle it, his England test match future could depend on it.