Lucky 13 for rookies Broad and Bopara | india | Hindustan Times
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Lucky 13 for rookies Broad and Bopara

Anyone who imagined that Bopara (43 not out) and Stuart Broad (45 not out) would add 99 -- England's highest ever for the eighth wicket -- and see England home, probably has a career in the making as a fortune-teller.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2007 03:33 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Millions of Indians would have watched Paul Collingwood's messy mix-up with Ravi Bopara and decided they could get some sleep — with England 114-7 in the 24 th over and nearly a 100 runs to get, the game was in the bag for India.

Anyone who imagined that Bopara (43 not out) and Stuart Broad (45 not out) would add 99 -- England's highest ever for the eighth wicket -- and see England home, probably has a career in the making as a fortune-teller.

Each was playing only his 13th one-dayer and both proved that when it comes to the crunch, what matters more than experience is the ability to keep a cool head. And believe it could be done.

Collingwood said as much. "Both were exceptionally special… You know there's a hell of a lot of pressure to go 3-1 up in the series. It was a game that at the halfway stage, we thought we had probably won. But when you are seven down after 25 overs, you think you've blown it. To turn it around like that, to show the maturity to play innings like that… anyone would have thought that they both have played 100 games each. And that was the special thing, to stay calm and play with maturity."

Neither played one foul stroke, a refreshing change for Indians bred on a diet of slogging tail-enders. Broad said Bopara's being a "very calm man" helped. "He was always talking to me and we were dragging each other on... It was fantastic."

Thursday was the perfect example of how a rookie act rolled over the stars. And Dravid admitted things were "tough". "When we reach Headingley, we will know in the back of our minds that we could have won that game."

And with Collingwood insisting there will be no let up in England's no-nonsense approach, it probably will be rough. "We're in a nice position, 3-1 up," he said. "But if we're going to be really ruthless, we need to start again and hopefully play our best cricket from now on."