Flower bullish over Bopara
England team director Andy Flower has backed Ravi Bopara to come through his torrid run of form whatever cards are dealt him on Ashes selection tomorrow.
Flower, one of the four men who have picked the squad for the final npower Test against Australia at the Brit Oval, has been an advocate of Bopara's since first seeing him as a teenage batsman for Essex in the nets at Chelmsford.
How to address a lack of runs from Bopara - he has managed just 105 in seven innings - would have been top of the selectors' agenda when they met at Trent Bridge yesterday, although he made an unbeaten 52 to guide Essex to a victory over Middlesex in the LV= County Championship clash at Lord's.
"Every batsman has been through a run of low scores and he hasn't managed to really get in and show what he is made of in this series," Flower said.
"It's a tough situation for him but he is a pretty calm bloke, so he's keeping it in perspective."
Not since the equivalent Test of 2005 when England simply needed to avoid defeat to regain the Ashes has there been a contest of similar magnitude on this country's international calendar.
And so the pressure is on whoever features in the top order following an innings defeat by Australia at Headingley Carengie which wiped out England's lead in the series.
Flower, however, is confident his side can recover to claim the victory they need to regain the Ashes.
"We can come back from this," he insisted. "We have to come back from it - that is the only option available to us.
"We are not 4-0 down; it is 1-1. We intend to go to the Oval and play good cricket."