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Essex Cricket Club's Paul Grayson: Ravi Bopara is back and will shine for England
RAVI Bopara is ready and focused again to do well with England following his call-up.
We’ve had chats with him and those involved with the England set-up have had chats with him and he is ready.
He came back for us on the weekend against the Netherlands and although he didn’t get any runs he was focused.
He needs to have his head in the right place and get back to playing how he was six weeks ago, which was some of the best cricket I’ve ever seen from him.
I’m sure he will do well with England and I doubt we’ll have him available again for Essex this season, and we hope he performs like we know he can in the big matches he has coming up.
Staying with England, I think the management were very dignified after the defeat to South Africa in the Test, and I think everyone just has to accept they were better over the three matches.
It would have been interesting if it was a five-match series because if they could have batted out the final day at Lord’s then it would have been 1-0 after three and I think it would have still been all to play for.
But overall South Africa were the better side in all three areas of the game and sometimes in sport you’ve just got to take your medicine and accept you’ve been beaten by the better team.
Just because England went into it as the number one team, they had no divine right to win every single game, and now it is clear the at the moment South Africa are the best Test side out there.
POOR START HAS COST US DEARLY IN ONE-DAY GAME
WE have fallen short again in the one-day game and, of course, we are disappointed with that.
The reason that has happened is because of our poor start – we lost our first three of our first four in the CB40 and had a wash-out. With only one automatic qualification spot from the group, it was always going to be tough after that.
But we’ve played well in the competition in recent matches, and we are looking forward to a good game tonight against Lancashire.
Starting the season without Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate was a big factor because they’re often very big players for us in that competition.
But ultimately the problem for us has been our inconsistency, as it was in the Twenty20 last year where we won seven, lost seven and had two wash-outs.
This season in the CB40 I think we’ve won four, lost four and had a couple of wash-outs, and that was never going to be good enough.
FULL COLUMN IN THURSDAY'S ECHO