Cook backs Bopara to replace injured Flintoff

Alastair Cook London, Apr 29 : England’s opener Alastair Cook has backed Ravi Bopara to replace injured all rounder Andrew Flintoff.

Flintoff is missing once again after knee surgery on Monday saw him laid up until the Twenty20 World Cup in June.

Bopara, who came in for Flintoff on the recent tour of West Indies, smashed a sparkling century in Barbados before being dropped for the final Test.

Bopara is the likely man at No. 6, and Cook believes that his county teammate can continue giving the selectors a headache, The Sun reports.

“It’s hugely disappointing for England that Freddie is out — especially for the big man himself. People don’t see the work that he puts in behind the scenes getting fit, so it’s doubly frustrating for him,” Cook said.

“Whoever gets the chance to come in will want to perform as well as they can. And Ravi is one of the most talented cricketers I’ve played with — he can hit balls for four that I can only dream of.

“Last year he started to fulfil that promise and showed his quality. The hundred in Barbados was classy. I’ve grown up playing cricket with him throughout my career, and he has all the shots in the book. He’s confident, but he is now backing up that confidence up with the goods,” he added. (ANI)