Bopara’s move to New Zealand helped him regain place in squad

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His poor showing in the 2009 Ashes series saw Bopara dropped from the one day and Test squads, but after finding his form in New Zealand, Bopara will travel to Australia as part of the one-day squad.

And Bopara believes that Kevin Pietersen will benefit from a spell in South Africa for KwaZulu-Natal as he prepares for an Ashes series in Australia.

“The move I made to Auckland was very good for my game, and me as a person,” said Bopara, “I had time to myself, away from everybody and all the coaches. I loved being away and doing things on my own.

“I’ve never really liked too much advice, or too many people having their input, I take advice, but prefer to work things out for myself.

“I think Kevin is the same sort of person and I think him going away to Natal will be a great move for him and for English cricket.”

Pietersen was dropped from the one day side despite being the T20 Player of the World Cup, and his performances during the Test series against Pakistan have left many questioning his Ashes place.

England take on Pakistan in the third one day international on Friday with a 2-0 lead, and with the ability to chase down a 300 target – it’s not as if Pietersen is needed right now.

South Africa will give Pietersen a chance to find the confidence that can help him steer England to a Ashes series.

England are 9/4 to win the series in Australia but in the meantime they will be focused on beating Pakistan who are improving with each one day game and are 2/1 to win on Friday.

England are 4/11 to win the third one day international against Pakistan. See the full England vs Pakistan one day betting markets here.

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