Lloyd questions Bopara 'confusion'

England

Former coach David Lloyd has implored England to find a permanent berth for batsman Ravi Bopara, ahead of next year's World Cup.

Former coach David Lloyd has implored England to find a permanent berth for batsman Ravi Bopara, ahead of next year's World Cup.

Bopara has stepped to the crease as high as first and as low as eighth since debuting against Australia in Sydney in 2007 – and is likely to feature in the middle order during this month's five-match affair against the same opposition.

"I find the positions that Ravi has batted in quite staggering and England have got to make their mind up as to what his role is, and perhaps let me know" <i>Sky Sports</i> quoted Lloyd as saying.

"Bopara has played 90 times for England in ODIs. He has opened 14 times, batted at three six times, 19 times at four, nine at five, 12 at six, 18 at seven and five at eight. That's confusion, to me. I think he's a wonderful player in all forms of the game.

"There are one or two players in England's team who are immoveable feasts. Do you think Alastair Cook would ever bat six? That's not going to happen, but it's okay for Ravi Bopara to open – or bat at six, four and five and seven and eight.

His bosses need to make him fully aware of what his role is. He needs a settled place. "If England are to win a World Cup they'll have to decide – and they might have to be quite brutal – as to what their best line-up is."

Lloyd defend the decision to rest Cook, batsman Ian Bell, fast bowler James Anderson and spinner Graeme Swann. The uncapped Chris Jordan and Jamie Overton and the inexperienced Michael Carberry and Boyd Rankin, meanwhile, were included in the squad.

"I don't think they're losing anything if Kevin Pietersen or Joe Root opens in place of Cook in this series or if James Tredwell plays instead of Swann – and give Anderson a rest and get him ready for the Tests," he concluded.

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