August 2009
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King Cricket: Ramps the run spendthrift

August 14th, 2009 by Alex Bowden in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


Much as it might seem like a great idea to subject a batsman whose very name is synonymous with mental frailty to an Ashes decider, Mark Ramprakash’s supporters might like to consider the following: Mark Ramprakash is not due a big score.

Test batsmen, in particular England’s, will be quick to tell you that every batsman has a set number of runs at his disposal. How he distributes these runs is largely down to him, but he can’t in any way change how many he’s got to use. If he fritters them away on four successive double hundreds, that’s his own fault for not planning ahead. Following scores of one and nought at Headingley, Ravi Bopara is very much due a big score and should retain his place on that basis.

While Bopara’s been methodically putting runs aside for a rainy day (not literally a rainy day - that would be very poor planning), Mark Ramprakash has been positively spendthrift. He’s frittered away thousands of runs over the last few seasons and seems to have no awareness that this wilful disregard for the value of a run merely reinforces people’s negative opinions of him. It’s impossible to avoid the impression that here is a man who has no sense of how to pace a career.

If selected, Bopara will walk to the crease in the fifth Ashes Test brimming with confidence. He’ll know that a big score has been just round the corner for some time. He’ll make a point of rounding that corner. By contrast, Ramps will be a bag of nerves, knowing that same corner only presages failure.

On the other hand, who’s best prepared to deal with a hostile Australian pace attack? As a youngster, Ravi Bopara is obliged to respect his elders and will have to brave the abuse without offering backchat.

Mark Ramprakash is fortunate enough to be a bit older - so much older, in fact, that he can occupy the dad role. When Peter Siddle opens his mouth to lay into him, Ramps can quite simply bollock him. He can give him a good dressing down and threaten to inform Siddle’s parents as to how young Peter has been behaving.

King Cricket blogs at He is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

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