All-rounder Ravi Bopara experienced the roughness and sweetness of Test cricket as he made his maiden Test century in the fourth Test on Friday.
Drafted in as replacement for the injured Andrew Flintoff, Bopara survived a dropped catch, a ball in the face and a Barbadian barrage of pace bowling before a beautifully crafted innings dispelled doubts over his international credentials.
West Indies clearly felt Bopara, whose three previous Tests back in December 2007 ended with three successive ducks, could be a soft touch but the Essex all-rounder gritted his teeth and took the game to the hosts with some style.
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"It's only my fourth Test and first against West Indies. I felt as if they were going to come at me hard, they were chirping and all sorts of things but that's part of Test cricket and its good fun. I really enjoyed it," he said.
Photographs and text: Reuters
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