• England news

Bopara omission a surprise - Giles

ESPNcricinfo staff
August 19, 2014
Ravi Bopara's one-day career has again hit the buffers © PA Photos

Ashley Giles, the former England one-day coach, was surprised by the omission of Ravi Bopara from the squad to face India but believes it will have stemmed from concerns over how his bowling would cope at the World Cup.

Bopara returned to England's one-day side shortly before last year's Champions Trophy, when Giles was coach, and his bowling developed to the stage where he was often entrusted with the fifth-bowler's role, but the selectors have gone for two allrounders with greater pace - Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes - along with Moeen Ali as a second spin option.

"I'm a little surprised, and it's quite a late change," Giles told ESPNcricinfo's Match Point show. "He's been a good utility cricketer but it's probably showing England's hand in that they probably need to play four frontline seamers and a spinner.

"Ravi is a bit more bits-and-pieces with the ball. With the other guys they have in the squad - Stokes, Woakes, Jordan and Moeen Ali - they have four allrounders so can cover a lot of bases."

Bopara tweeted about his omission and insisted he will retain his place. "Very disappointed to miss out on selection for ODI's but more determined then [sic] ever to get back in the side. I will be back!"

Giles, meanwhile, also backed Ian Bell to retain a place in England's top order, saying he is the "world class" player they need at No. 3 behind Alastair Cook and Alex Hales, the latter who will make his ODI debut in the series.

Cook and Bell was the partnership Giles used during the Champions Trophy last year, where England reached the final, and they opened together in the series against Australia in January. Giles does not believe England need to drastically change their gameplan but said that totals around 300 will be a prerequisite at the World Cup.

"It's a common talking point, the top 10 overs. I don't think it needs you to go mad, but it does need you to increase the tempo. In Australia you will need 300 regularly to win games, it will be the benchmark to make a fist of the World Cup."

Another debate from England's 15-man squad was whether James Anderson, the Man of the Series in the Investec Test series, should have been rested - something that happened regularly for Anderson when Giles was in charge - following an intense run of seven Tests but Giles said that with the World Cup closing in he needed to be around the team.

"They have looked after Jimmy Anderson in one-day cricket in the past but now that the World Cup is coming up it's important he plays. I'm not sure he'll play every game, but he'll be a key part in Australia with the two new balls."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd