Bopara left out for Oval Ashes decider

ESSEX batsman Ravi Bopara has been dropped for England s fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at the Oval this week, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. Bopara, who was born in Forest Gate, had endured a disappointing series with the bat to date, making just 10

ESSEX batsman Ravi Bopara has been dropped for England's fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at the Oval this week, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

Bopara, who was born in Forest Gate, had endured a disappointing series with the bat to date, making just 105 runs at an average of 15, and his absence was confirmed on Sunday morning.

Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott has been named in place of the former Brampton Manor pupil, with club-mate Ian Bell keeping his place, despite a poor return at Headingley, where England were thrashed by an innings.

"Ravi's omission means Jonathan Trott will make his Test debut at The Oval," national selector Geoff Miller told BBC Radio Five Live, in a match that an England victory would see them win the Ashes.


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"He has been going through a tough time with the bat in this series and we have decided to leave him out of the squad.

"He will be extremely disappointed, but remains very much part of our plans for the future and I am sure that he has the talent and temperament to regain his place in the side.

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"Having been part of the squad at Headingley, Jonathan was the next batsman in line in our view and this rewards him for the excellent form he has shown in county cricket, both this summer and with England Lions over the winter."

Bopara will now take his place with Essex once again, for their County Championship clash with Surrey at Colchester this week.

First-team coach Paul Grayson is pleased to have the services of the all-rounder and thinks his time at Chelmsford will help him win back his place in the national team.

"It is obviously a disappointment for Ravi not being included in the fifth Test," said Grayson.

"We are all sure that Ravi will come back a stronger player and stronger character.

"We are delighted to have Ravi back for Essex and we hope he can continue to make a positive contribution. That is now his focus."

Bopara played his part in Essex's five-wicket triumph over Middlesex in their County Championship encounter at Lord's last week.

Despite making just one in the first innings, as Essex scored 345 in reply to the home side's 356, he was on hand to guide his county home when Middlesex made a sporting declaration on the final day.

Set just 241 to win from a minimum of 45 overs, Bopara hit 52 not out from 61 balls, as Essex reached their target in 43 overs.

It wasn't all bad news for Bopara this week, as he was named in the Twenty-20 and one-day squads to face Australia, along with the ICC Champions Trophy squad.

"We have kept faith with the bulk of the squad which was successful in the NatWest Series against West Indies and also included two players, Luke Wright and Adil Rashid, who were part of our squad for the ICC World Twenty20," Miller added.

England start their one-day campaign with a trip to Belfast as they take on Ireland on Thursday, August 27.

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