Bristol: England have added Ravi Bopara to their squad as a replacement for injured batsman Ian Bell ahead of the third and final one-day international against Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Monday. Bell broke his foot while fielding during Bangladesh's dramatic five-run win in the second match of the series here on Saturday and had to hobble out as last man, with a runner, in order to prolong England's hopes of victory in the final over.
As it was he didn't face a ball, with Warwickshire colleague Jonathan Trott caught behind for 94 as Bangladesh wrapped up a sensational victory -- their first against England in any format -- with three balls to spare. Bell, who has fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, is expected to be out of action for several weeks and now, with the Bangladesh series level at 1-1, England have recalled Bopara.
The 25-year-old Essex all-rounder, also a handy medium-pacer, played the last of his 50 ODIs against New Zealand at the Champions Trophy in Johannesburg in November. While he was in the England squad that won this year's World Twenty20, Bopara made just one appearance in the Caribbean after Kevin Pietersen had flown home briefly to attend the birth of his first child. And when Pietersen was ruled out of the Bangladesh series with a thigh injury, he was still overlooked by the selectors when they picked their original squad.
However, like Bell, Bopara has been in good form for the England Lions, the national A side, and last week made 168 in their 124-run triangular series one-day win over West Indies A in Worcester. An England and Wales Cricket Board statement issued Sunday said Bopara would be available to play for Essex in their domestic Twenty20 Cup fixture against Somerset at Chelmsford later on Sunday before joining up with the England squad.