Vaughan sees England making clean sweep


After Ian Botham had predicted a 4-0 whitewash of the India team in the ongoing four-match Test series, Michael Vaughan anticipated a similar scoreline. “4-0 England in the Test series. Zaheer coming back was India’s only hope. Big loss for them. Sorry to all my new-found Indian followers,” Vaughan tweeted.
Vaughan said that without bowling spearhead Zaheer, it will be impossible for India to take 20 English wickets. “Indian fans seem to be very blinkered. Just accept that without Zaheer, you will struggle to get 20 wickets in English conditions,” he wrote. England lead the four-match series 2-0 and a win in the third Test at Edgbaston will make them the No.1 Test side in the world.
Blaming the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Indian team’s disastrous show in England so far, Vaughan tweeted: “I think the IPL will be a long-term problem for the Indian Test team. Young players will focus towards T20 cricket rather than Test.” Another former England skipper Alec Stewart joined the chorus, saying only a miracle can save India now. “No Zaheer Khan spells more trouble for India. Do the fantastic loyal Indian fans seriously believe they can draw the series?,” asked Stewart in his twitter account.
Ravi ready for recall: England’s Ravi Bopara insisted he was a “more rounded player,” as he prepared for a Test recall against India. The 26-year-old Essex all-rounder has been called up as cover for the injured Jonathan Trott, ruled out with a shoulder injury, for the third Test against India at Edgbaston starting here on Wednesday.
Bopara played the last of his 10 Tests two years ago, managing just one and nought in a crushing innings and 80-run defeat by Australia at Headingley that saw the tourists level that season’s Ashes at 1-1.
Trott was brought in England’s next Test, the series finale at The Oval, where he made a century on debut as the hosts regained the Ashes. Since then the South Africa born batsman has hardly looked back, with Trott scoring nearly 2,000 runs in 23 Tests at a hugely impressive average of 57.79 with six hundreds. But his injury has given Bopara, who once scored three hundreds in three successive Tests against the West Indies before struggling against Australia, the chance to revive his career in the five-day format. “I think I’m a more rounded player, I know my game a little bit more,” Bopara told Sky Sports at Edgbaston on Monday.
“It’s amazing what you can learn in two years about yourself. Just when you think you’ve got it cracked, you suddenly realise that you haven’t and that you’ve got a lot to learn.
“I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years and I’m sure I’ve got a lot to learn over the next five, hopefully 10, years.” Bopara, also a medium-pace seamer, said there had been moments when he thought his chance might have come and gone.
“If I was to say there was no self-doubt creeping in then I would be lying,” he said. “I think every cricketer has some self-doubt at some stage in their careers – some have it all the way through. “I backed my ability, I definitely know more about myself now than I ever have and I’m just looking forward to the challenge,” added Bopara, who said he still hoped to have a “good” England career lasting some 10 years. Although Trott normally bats number three, Bopara — if selected from a 13-man squad — may not come in at first wicket down after Ian Bell made a superb century in that position during England’s thumping 319-run second Test win at Trent Bridge.