Ravi Bopara, the solid middle order batsman in the ongoing One Day International series against Pakistan has warned his team mates not to get over confident after winning the first two matches.
He presumed that the Green Shirts were capable of bouncing back in the series as they have match winning players in their team.
England had earlier lost three Test series vs. Pakistan 0-3 under the Captaincy of Andrew Strauss and they were humiliated badly especially by the spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman who shared 43 wickets between them. England came back strongly as their leader in the ODI, Alastair Cook led from the front by smashing tons in both games.
England won the first ODI by a vast margin of 130 runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, on February 13, 2012. The winning spree was continued in the next game at the same venue on February 15, 2012 with rather close margin of 20 runs.
Cook faced a lean period in the three Tests played prior to the limited overs game and managed 159 runs in six innings at an average of 26.50 with the best of 94.
The skipper was under tremendous pressure before the start of the ODI series but the runs started flowing from his willow and he thrashed his career best 137 runs in the first match followed by 102 in the next encounter. Bopara played an anchor role in both the games by scoring 50 runs and sharing a wonderful partnership of 131 runs for the third wicket with Cook. The consistency was carried on by him in the next match where he scored 58 runs and again associated for 78 runs with Cook.
England were beaten all ends up in the five ODI series 0-5 against Blue Shirts in October, 2011,which was just like a setback for them after they embarrassed India in all formats of the game when they visited their country in the summer earlier.
England has not good record on the sub-continent wickets in the ODIs and Bopara believed that it will be great achievement for them if they can win all matches against Pakistan. He said, “It’s going to be a massive thing for us to win out here. We haven’t had a good one-day record in the sub-continent so it’s a big thing for us to win. It will give us confidence to know we can do it in sub-continent conditions.”
The 26-year-old has played 71 ODIs for England, scored 1668 runs at an average of 30.32, the best of 96 runs with eight fifties and has taken 13 wickets averaging 44.92 runs per wicket with the best of 4 for 38 runs.
Ravi Bopara believed that Pakistan was an erratic side who has beaten them in the recent Test series and his team should continue till they had a positive conclusion of the series even after having a 2-0 lead at the moment. He further commented, “Any series where you go 2-0 up is pretty good. But we’re keeping our feet on the ground. We know from the Test series what Pakistan are capable of. They are a very unpredictable side.”
The third ODI of the series will be played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on February 18, 2012 and Bopara has pumped England to concentrate on the remaining two matches.