Monday, 10 August 2009

Cricket:Ramprakash backed for Test recall

Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash is being backed for a remarkable England recall for the decisive fifth Ashes Test - seven years since he was last capped.
Australia crushed England to level the series going into the final match at The Oval, Ramprakash's home ground.
He turns 40 in September and has not played for England since 2002 but has been in prolific form for his county.
"If I was an England selector picking my best side, he'd be in it," said Surrey cricket manager Chris Adams.
"He is playing the best cricket of his life," Adams, who briefly played for England, both at Test and one-day international cricket, told BBC Radio 5 live.
"He has done so for three years. I believe strongly he has been the best batsman available for England for those three years.
"I know Kevin Pietersen would have something to say about that but from what I've seen from Mark this year he is an exceptional batsman, a batsman at the top of his game."
Adams echoed comments made by former England captain Alec Stewart, also a Surrey stalwart, who suggested a one-off return for Ramprakash might be the best option for a side enduring a middle-order crisis.
Only one England batsman, skipper Andrew Strauss, has scored a century in the series so far, compared to Australia's return of seven.
He's a fine player, whether it's the right time to bring him back into a Test match is a different story
Australia captain Ricky Ponting
Ravi Bopara, Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell, who replaced the injured Pietersen, have all disappointed.
Between them, Bopara, Collingwood and Bell contributed a total of just 16 runs during the fourth Test at Headingley and England coach Andy Flower has suggested the batting line-up might be altered following his side's innings and 80-run defeat.
Earlier in the summer Essex batsman Bopara cemented his place at number three with three consecutive centuries against West Indies but the 24-year-old has struggled against Australia, scoring 105 runs in seven innings at an average of 15.
England named Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott in their squad for the fourth Test and he is another being touted to replace Bopara for The Oval Test, which starts on 20 August.

The Ashes England
Kent captain Rob Key's name is also being bandied around, with former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott and BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew backing his inclusion.
Meanwhile England are again waiting on the fitness of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.
He was seeing knee specialist Andy Williams on Monday with England captain Andrew Strauss keen for an early decision.
England waited until the morning of the fourth Test to rule Flintoff out.
The Lancastrian had said he was fit enough to play but was overruled by Strauss and Flower.
Strauss said: "Hopefully we'll know two or three days out from the Test match whether he's fit enough to play.
"He's still desperate to play in that final Test but he realises he's got to be fit enough."

But it is Ramprakash, who won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show in 2006, whose name is causing the biggest stir.
The right-hander has played 52 Tests, scoring 2350 runs at an average of 27.32 with 12 half-centuries and two tons.
In 12 Tests against Australia he has notched 933 runs at an average of 42.40 with one century, coming at The Oval in 2001.
He was dropped after scores of nine and two against New Zealand in Auckland seven years ago but has since moved from Middlesex to Surrey and continued to dominate opposition bowling attacks at county level.

Ramprakash - 100 centuries
In 2008 he became only the 25th player to score 100 first-class centuries with a ton against Yorkshire at Headingley, and on Sunday he showed he was still going strong with 134 not out against Derbyshire.
It was the 108th first-class century of his career and moved him level with Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas in 16th place on the all-time list.
"He's a fine player, whether it's the right time to bring him back into a Test match is a different story," said Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
"It's amazing how quickly things change either the way the media sees the team or even the way the team looks upon itself."

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