• ICC Champions Trophy

Bopara and Bresnan return for England

ESPN staff
May 3, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ravi Bopara has been given another chance by England © PA Photos
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Ravi Bopara has been recalled for the Champions Trophy as part of England's 15-man squad. There is also a place for Chris Woakes, the Warwickshire allrounder, while Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann are back after their respective elbow surgeries.

Bopara was dropped after the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka at the end of a difficult period for him which included withdrawing from the Test squad against South Africa last summer for personal reasons. His batting form faded dramatically towards the latter part of the 2012 English season, although his bowling proved increasingly effective in one-day cricket.

Last week he was named in the England Lions squad to face New Zealand, an indication he was firmly in the selectors' thoughts, although his batting returns in the early stages of the Championship season have been unconvincing with 118 runs at 23.60.

Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "He's been given another opportunity because we know what's capable of doing," he told Sky Sports News. "He's got all aspects to his game - the bowling has come on very well - batting-wise we know what he can do and he's good in the field as well. But let's not talk about one person, this is a squad and it's about them all performing."

It is difficult to see where Bopara fits into the starting XI unless he is entrusted as a fifth bowler at No. 7 or forces his way past the in-form Joe Root. However, Root's start to the season and early days of his ODI career make him very difficult to leave out. In the absence of Kevin Pietersen, Root, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler will need to provide the spark in the middle order.

"The Champions Trophy provides this England squad with a great opportunity to win a global 50-over event, something we have yet to achieve, and we are excited to be playing on home soil," Miller said.

Of players who have recently been involved in England's one-day set-up there is no place for Jade Dernbach or Samit Patel. The same 15-man squad will also play the three-match ODI series against New Zealand which precedes the Champions Trophy.

Squad Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes

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