RAVI Bopara was devastated to be left out of England’s squad for the one-day international series against India next week.
The 29-year-old Essex star was told he had been axed from the squad on the bus home from Swansea after his side’s win over Glamorgan in the county championship.
Essex coach Paul Grayson said everyone was stunned by the news but he said Bopara has already resolved himself to prove the England selectors wrong.
“I think he has been one of England’s most improved players over the past 12 to 18 months,” said Grayson.
“Ravi was obviously devastated when he heard the news but he already feels like he wants to prove them wrong, that’s Ravi Bopara’s character.”
Bopara appears to have been overlooked in favour of England’s Twenty20 star Alex Hales who appears to have been brought in to be England’s “finisher” batting a number six or seven.
That is the position that Bopara, who has 108 ODI caps, has been playing for his country for the past 18 months.
But he was moved up to bat at number three for the England Lions against Sri Lanka last week and scored a hundred which helped his side to victory.
And Grayson believes that is the position Bopara should now be playing for the full England side.
“I personally think he is ready for the responsibility of batting at number three or four.
“He has done very well at six or seven. He has won lots of games for England there and got them close in others. I honestly believe he is now ready to go up the order and help set up the innings and provide the foundation for England.
“He did that for the England Lions last week and scored runs. He has done everything they have asked of him.
“They have made a big call. As coaches and selectors you live and die by those decisions. But I know everyone is very surprised by this one.”