ENGLAND batsman Ravi Bopara is backing team-mate Alastair Cook to recover from his slump in form and return to the top of his game in next week’s third Test with Pakistan.
Vice-captain Cook has only managed 100 runs in seven Test innings this summer with a highest score of just 29.
The 25-year-old’s dip in form has caused his place at the top of the order in Test cricket to come under scrutiny ahead of England’s trip Down Under to face Australia in the Ashes this winter.
But Bopara is convinced his England and Essex colleague will bounce back for the national side at the Oval next week.
“Nobody knows what he’s going through,” said Bopara. “I think it’s hard for other people to tell him what he needs to do. I batted with him in the middle and he batted really well, struck the ball beautifully and doesn’t look like anything’s wrong with him.
“He’ll know himself what he needs to do. It’s wrong for other people to say he needs to do this or go back to basics. He wouldn’t play for England if he didn’t know the basics of batting.”
England cruised to a 2-0 series lead over Pakistan with a nine-wicket victory at Edgbaston earlier this week, and Bopara insists Cook’s qualities can help propel England to victory next week.
“He’s a smart guy, he’s a good batsman, he’s scored runs for England, he’s scored runs for Essex, there’s nothing wrong with his technical game,” he added. “You just go through those patches where it’s not your time. You’ve got to stick it out and I’m sure he’ll come through it.”
The third Test against Pakistan gets underway at the Oval on Wednesday.