‘We are here to win'

“I feel the innings of 96 at Lord's against India in the recent one-dayer has had a massive impact on me. It makes so much of a difference to your outlook itself. Even in practice, you tend to feel so different after such an innings,” says Bopara in a chat with V. V. Subrahmanyam.

Ravinder Singh Bopara, is of the view that he has stepped into the ‘comfort zone' of his cricketing career. “Yes, there were times when I felt disappointed to be in and out of the England team. But after the recent performances, I am feeling much safer,” says the England middle-order batsman as he prepares to take on the Indians in the forthcoming one-day series and the lone T-20 international.

“It is important to feel safe even thought it doesn't mean you can be complacent. Yes, you can't stay on at one point. You have to keep working constantly,” says the in-form all-rounder, who was one of the star performers in England's victory against India in the one-day series at home recently.

“Looking back, I feel the innings of 96 at Lord's against India in the recent one-dayer has had a massive impact on me. It makes so much of a difference to your outlook itself. Even in practice, you tend to feel so different after such an innings,” says Bopara. “It is really a good feeling when you believe that you will be a regular member of the England team. It is so important to feel safe.

“Playing in India in front of massive crowds is something which is not only challenging but also a great experience. We are not here to bother about who is playing and who isn't for India. We are here to win and not to lose. We would definitely love to wrap it up 5-0,” says a confident Bopara.

“I would love to do well as a batsman. That is my first priority even though I enjoy my bowling too,” he says. “The wickets might be generally flat or on the slower side. The seamers might find it difficult. But to succeed at the international level you have to stay focussed and keep improving. That is what I should be looking for against the Indians,” says Bopara.

Bopara, 26, has played in 64 ODIs, scoring 1480 runs (average: 30.83; strike rate: 75.43; highest score: 96). He has also taken 13 wickets.

“The key to being a good bowler in India is: changing the pace and bowling in the right areas. I know that I am not as quick as my other team-mates, but I am sure that I can be pretty handy because I feel my style suits the conditions (in India),” says Bopara.

“Definitely, the experience of playing in the IPL has helped me, as it did for many others. But then, if you have to be successful in any form of the game, you have to raise the bar. All that I am looking for is to continue the good work I had done against India in the recent one-day series at home,” explains Bopara.

Importantly, Bopara is not worried about the intense competition to fill up the slots in the England team. “In a way, it is good, for these things keep you on your toes,” says Bopara.