Ravi Bopara once again proved his mettle at the international level recently, when he smashed Australians all over the park, during his 27-ball knock where he scored 65 runs. Apart from being a hard-hitting batsman, Bopara also owns astonishing figures of 4 for 9 in a T20 match against West Indies in 2011, which remains to be the best bowling performance for England in T20 internationals.
Bopara’s swashbuckling style of play would make him a serious contender during the upcoming IPL auctions. In an exclusive chat with Suyash Srivastava of Zeenews.com, Bopara spoke about IPL and a much-awaited appearance in his 100th ODI for England. Excerpts from the interview.
Considering your recent form, do you think that would help you in the upcoming IPL auctions?
I would think my form would play some part in the auction; obviously there are no guarantees but the way I am feeling with the bat, in my mind I feel that this is the time for me to really excel.
In T20 internationals against Australia, you batted at number seven for England. Are you happy at that position, or would you would want to bat a bit higher in the batting order?
I wouldn`t say I am entirely happy batting at number 7 for England in T20, as I feel I have much more to offer if I was to bat for longer. But I`ve been working very hard on death hitting, as this is my role in the England side. However, I would love to bat up the order in ODIs, as I would like to play the role I play for Essex. I also consider my bowling as a key part to my game. It`s the one thing I may have worked the hardest on in the past two years, learning to bowl new deliveries etc.
What are your thoughts about the IPL? Do you think it is benefitting Indian as well as world cricket?
IPL has been a revelation to cricket. It has really changed the way people approach cricket now. You can notice younger cricketers who are ready to hit the ball a long way and also getting more mystery in their bowling. IPL is the one competition every cricketer wants to play in.
What differentiates IPL from the English domestic season?
I think the IPL has a massive attraction and a great hype compared to county cricket. You really feel like it is an event.
You have played for Kings XI Punjab in the past. Is there a particular franchise you would want to play for in the Indian Premier League?
I don`t think I have any particular IPL franchise I would like to play for. I would want to play for any team and do well. I really enjoyed my time with Kings XI and managed to have some good performances.
Tell us what are the areas you have been working on to improve your batting?
As mentioned before, I`ve really worked hard on hitting at the death overs. I think it is very important to be able to hit sixes if the bowler gets his length wrong. I`ve also worked very hard on hitting spin as this is a key area in T20 cricket.
Last, but not the least. You are one match short of playing your 100th ODI for England? How has the journey been so far?
My time with England has been a wonderful journey so far. I am extremely proud and happy to have played 99 ODI games, but I am not satisfied yet. I have so much to offer yet and many years left in the game.