Bopara, Shah accused of playing to keep their England places

     Indian origin England Batsman Ravi Bopara and his teammate Owais Shah have been accused of playing for their places rather than for the team, as the team trails Australia 0-3 in the seven match ODI series. Gloucestershire coach John Bracewell, who is the game's most sought-after one-day theorists, questioned the tactics applied by Bopara and Shah. "I don't think that either Bopara or Shah are playing to the talent that got them selected," The Telegraph quoted Bracewell, as saying. "They're playing for their places. And I think they're playing with too much responsibility on batting for too long. They should be getting as many as they can as quickly as they can for as long as they can. It's as simple as that. "They look as though they're trying to build an innings and through that they're missing opportunities and applying pressure to their own team," he said. "When you analyse their individual skills they're a pretty good team. But I don't think they play to a selfless pattern. I think they play to a reselection pattern. If I do all right today I'll get picked tomorrow," Bracewell added. Bracewell believes that England's conservative batting has allowed Australia to seize the initiative in this series. If it is to be wrested back, he argues, Andrew Strauss and his men need to "take a punt" whether that means using their power play earlier in the innings or rethinking their whole approach to batting.

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