Uncapped Bopara to replace injured Pietersen

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Uncapped Essex batsman Ravinder Bopara has been called into the England one-day squad in Australia as a replacement for the injured Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen was ruled out of the rest of the tri-series after breaking a rib in England's eight-wicket loss to Australia in Melbourne yesterday.

Pietersen top scored for England with 82 but came to grief when he charged down the wicket to Australian paceman Glenn McGrath and was struck on the chest with a sharply rising bouncer.

The South African-born Pietersen had been dismissed by McGrath in the last Ashes test when he used the same tactic and received little sympathy from his opponents after trying it again in Melbourne.

''When you walk down the wicket to a fast bowler I suppose you are asking to be bounced,'' Australian captain Ricky Ponting told reporters.

Pietersen will return home in the next few days with Irish batsman Ed Joyce likely to take his place in the starting lineup and 21-year-old Bopara joining the squad after training in Australia with the England Academy.

''Ravi has been brought in because he is a middle order batsman who impressed in his time with the Academy in Perth earlier in the winter,'' England chairman of selectoes David Graveney said in a statement.

''He has also been a regular with Essex during their one-day successes in recent years and we decided that he was the best option available.

''We are happy with the top order of Strauss, Vaughan and Bell and we also see the injury to Kevin Pietersen, while unfortunate, as offering a great chance for Ed Joyce to stake his claim for a place in the ICC World Cup.'' England's next tri-series match is against New Zealand in Hobart on Tuesday.


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