Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bopara's Last Chance to Shine or Be Discarded by Ruthless England

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bopara's Last Chance to Shine or Be Discarded by Ruthless England

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent Cricket brought to you in association with

THE most striking aspect of England's rise to the top of the Test game has been the collective belief within the squad that they belong at the summit.

It is this force of will that has propelled them up the rankings and over the next five days at The Oval it is this that India must resist if they are to stave off a 4-0 series whitewash.

This clash has not had the level of competition that was expected from these teams. India arrived in this country as the world's No1-ranked Test team and even though their schedule prior to the tour -- the World Cup, the Indian Premier League and a tour of the West Indies -- had been exhausting, they should still have been good enough to stretch England to the limit. Sadly, this has not been the case. Apart from on the fourth morning at Lord's, when Ishant Sharma's brilliant spell reduced England to 62 for five, and for much of the opening two days at Trent Bridge, India have been a long way behind England.

Injuries to key players have also weakened the tourists and as a consequence, there was little exciting cricket at Edgbaston last week.

Yet before we fall into the trap of making disparaging remarks about the series, it is important to remember how England have excelled and how rare it is to see an English sports team perform so well, so regularly. Even if it does not always make for compelling sport, a dominant England side should never be taken for granted.

The first four days of every Test in this series have been a virtual sell-out and that is again the case at The Oval. If the pattern of the last three matches is to be repeated, supporters will see England forcing India back and it is something they should relish.

When was the last time we saw such a ruthless, confident England cricket team? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.