Ravinder Singh Bopara. How important a name has this become in the past year or so for English cricket?

You can’t even imagine an England side playing without the Essex star, such is the reputation that he has gained in what has been a fantastic year or so for the all-rounder. An improved technique, consistency and good, tight bowling has led him to the phase where his reputation should only burgeon from here on in, rather than going down.

Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt in the fact that he is the key to England’s T20 World Cup success. It is just not me who is saying this - his stats speak for him. In his last nine T20s, he has conceded 152 runs in 19 overs at an economy rate of just eight (which is the lowest for any English bowler) and has taken four wickets.

Then, with the bat in his hand, the Essex lad has scored 207 runs (only Alex Hales has more runs but a lower strike rate) in nine innings at an average of almost 35, with a strike rate of almost 161, which is staggering. Also, he has managed to hit 10 sixes in his last nine matches, which again stands out to be the most by any English player in the same period.

In every manner, the right-hander has just outshone his fellow teammates in the shortest version of the game. You talk about Morgan, Hales or Buttler being dangerous, what about Bopara?

In my opinion, he simply is the best and the cleanest hitter of the cricket ball; no one does it better than him. The sound that comes out of his bat when he whacks it, is just beyond description and as an opposition, you don’t want to hear it from an opponent.

All in all, he’s a match winner who can turn the tables with the cherry as well as the blade. Certainly, Bopara’s form would be crucial for England’s success in the sub-continent.

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