Pietersen blow is boost to Bopara

ESSEX all-rounder Ravi Bopara s chances of playing a full part in the Ashes this summer were increased after it was confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that star batsman Kevin Pietersen will miss the rest of the series through injury. The South-African born f

ESSEX all-rounder Ravi Bopara's chances of playing a full part in the Ashes this summer were increased after it was confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that star batsman Kevin Pietersen will miss the rest of the series through injury.

The South-African born former skipper had been struggling with an Achilles problem and it was announced that the injury has become so severe that an operation is needed, ruling Pietersen out for six weeks.

Ian Bell is most likely to come in for the 29-year-old, and it will be up to the selectors to decide whether the Warwickshire man or Bopara will bat at number three.

It is Bell's favoured position, but after the former Hainault & Clayhall batsman struck three centuries for his country recently, it is he who is more likely to hold on to it.


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On Monday, Bopara was part of an England side who made history, as they defeated Australia in an Ashes Test at Lord's for the first time in 75 years.

It was 1934 when England last beat their great enemies at the home of cricket, with their victory then by an innings and 38-runs.

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But Bopara and his team-mates changed all that, with a crushing 115-run victory as Andrew Flintoff produced a stunning spell of fast bowling.

Bopara had contributed 18 in England's first innings effort of 425, before he was trapped lbw by Ben Hilfenhaus.

After Australia had been dismissed for just 215, Bopara came to the wicket with England 61-1, and looking for quick runs to enforce a declaration.

However, he made a scratchy 27 from 93 balls before he was snapped up at bat and pad by Simon Katich off Nathan Hauritz.

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