Ravi Bopara is keeping one eye on the top run-getters’ list in the IPL. The Kings XI Punjab opener failed here on Sunday, but had scored runs in each of the three matches before that.
In fact, Bopara was in possession of the orange cap, given to the IPL’s top scorer, for a few overs during the match between the Kings XI and the Bangalore Royal Challengers before Jacques Kallis took it away from him.
“Yeah it was nice to have the orange cap on my head. But credit to Kallis, he deserves it. And (Virender) Sehwag too, he has been brutal, as ever,” Bopara told the Hindustan Times at the team hotel on Sunday morning.
Bopara once hit 201 not out in a 50-over match for his county Essex.
The 24-year-old has been one of the few Englishmen who seem well suited to the hustle and bustle of T20.
Bopara is known for his cocky attitude, which imploded during the Ashes last year, but should stand him in good stead here.
But is Bopara really the outgoing person he is portrayed to be? “I am not a great party-goer. Not one to keep late nights at all,” Bopara said.
“But I like going out, with friends. It gets quite busy in the IPL. I like the busy life. Back in England, I live in London.”
Bopara grew up in Forest Gate and as a teenager got involved with the game through Capital Kids Cricket, a scheme that takes cricket to children in the tougher neighbourhoods of London.
From there he has gone on to play for England in all formats, though right now he is out of favour.
“I am not really looking too far ahead,” Bopara said when asked if he was looking at the IPL as an opportunity to knock on the selectors’ door.
“Right now the important thing is to get wins under our belt in the Indian Premier League.”
And as for the alleged security concerns that nearly kept him away from the League, Bopara said he never had them. “I was misquoted.”