Bopara wants ruthless England
England have set their sights on a comprehensive NatWest Series victory over India as they build up to the next stage of their one-day schedule.
Victory in Sunday’s fifth match of the series would secure an unassailable 4-1 lead with two matches to play and would represent a significant achievement for a side still developing under new coach Peter Moores and captain Paul Collingwood.
But with the ICC World Twenty20 and a one-day series in Sri Lanka to follow, all-rounder Ravi Bopara believes it is vital that England attempt to win the series in style.
“We’re in a fantastic position at 3-1 up, but we don’t want to think we have only just to win one more to take the series,” stressed Bopara, who shared in a record 99-run eighth-wicket stand to clinch a thrilling three-wicket triumph at Old Trafford on Thursday.
“We want to try to win all three matches left and that would give us brilliant momentum for the Twenty20 coming up.
“I’ve not been involved very long but I’m very excited about the future.
“This is a great bunch of lads, very talented, smart cricketers and we feel we’re moving in the right direction. Winning two matches in a row has put a great feeling in the camp.”
It is a theme which has been echoed by Collingwood, who was delighted with the composure shown to finish off the triumph at Old Trafford but believes England must start afresh again at Headingley Carnegie if they are to prevent the tourists fighting their way back into the series.
“I think we’re in a nice position but you can’t really as a team look at it like that and you have to start afresh,” he stressed.
“We had a little hiccup (at Old Trafford), came out of it and won, but now we’ve got to be really ruthless, start again and hopefully play our best cricket from now on.”
England will monitor the fitness of left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom, who has struggled to overcome a side strain he sustained in the final Test against India nearly three weeks ago.
Sidebottom has already been ruled out of Sunday’s match but will have a fitness test to determine whether he is fit enough to play for Nottinghamshire in their Pro40 match with Lancashire on the same day.
He has to prove his fitness before England decide whether to replace him in their squad for the Twenty20, which begins in less than a fortnight.