Fair Bet

I spent most of last week in a wind and rainswept Isle of Skye, returning home via the highlands and Edinburgh, where the weather was slightly better. With all this said, it was still a very enjoyable trip but one which didn't really lend itself to keeping in close touch with what was going on in the cricket world.

While taking refuge from a storm of biblical proportions on Wednesday afternoon I did manage to hear some of the TMS coverage of Ravi Bopara's hundred and catch a few brief highlights on TV. I was pleased; as regular readers will know I've always had a good feeling about Bopara, not just because of his obvious talent but also because he's generally seemed to have the gumption and confidence which Ian Bell (probably his superior in terms of ability and technique) so obviously seems to lack.

Bopara had a very tough baptism in Test cricket in Sri Lanka towards the end of 2007 but, ever since I saw him make a well-judged, patient 85 in an Essex defeat at Worcester last June I thought he had the makings of a good upper-order Test batsman. With Vaughan struggling for form and fitness, Shah discarded (and chronically out of form) and Bell still biding his time, he looks a fair bet to start the Ashes series at number three.

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