Essex star's role will be crucial

Thurrock Gazette: Ravi Bopara Ravi Bopara

CRICKET: Ravi Bopara may hold the key to England’s success in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, according to the latest FTI Most Valuable Player statistics.

Essex’s white-ball specialist, below, leads the rankings in the shortest form of the game after scoring 137 runs and taking six wickets this winter.

His runs have come at an impressive rate of 151 per 100 balls and, despite batting at number seven, he has contributed over 15 per cent of England’s Twenty20 runs.

A meagre economy-rate of just 5.82 per cent has also contributed to a lead of 33 points over second place Tim Bresnan, who took two wickets fewer against Australia and West Indies.

Rising star Chris Jordan has the same number of wickets as Bresnan, despite only turning out twice so far, and now occupies fourth place in the table.

The Sussex all-rounder got England’s innings back on track in the third T20 international in Barbados when he blasted 27 runs, including four sixes off the last over, before returning to take 3-39 from his four overs.

In doing so, his average rose to 15.84, which is significantly higher than any other performer in competition.

Of the top 10, Michael Lumb (14.18) has accounted for the second-highest percentage of team runs this winter, while his Nottinghamshire colleague Alex Hales (125) has scored the second-highest number of runs.

Bopara has the best economy-rate of all England’s bowlers, with James Tredwell (6.19) not far behind.

The MVP system rewards players for every run scored, wicket taken and catch held across all three formats of the game.

Bowlers receive higher marks for good economy-rates, bowling maidens and dismissing the top order, while batsmen are rewarded for high run-rates and the percentage of the team's runs they hit.

England take on New Zealand in Chittagong tomorrow, as they look to regain the trophy they won in 2010, before lining up against Sri Lanka and South Africa in Group One.

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