London: Former England captain Alec Stewart has warned England selectors to not let Ravi Bopara's potential go to seed like had happened in the case of Mark Ramprakash.
Bopara has struggled in the 2009 Ashes, and it looks that the axe is likely to fall on him.
Ironically, it is Ramprakash who is in line to replace Bopara, should chief selector Geoff Miller and fellow selectors decide to make changes before the last Test of the series at the Oval beginning next Thursday.
Stewart says Bopara should be omitted from the final Ashes Test but feels he should not fall by the wayside the way Ramprakash did after one too many demotions.
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"Ravi has struggled at No 3. But it is important that if he is left out it is dealt with in an appropriate way because he is a talent," Stewart was quoted as saying by English media.
"He is someone who I expect to see around the international scene for the next 10 years or so. He is that good and it is important to remember that not many people come into an international side without getting left out at some stage," he said.
Stewart argues that the likes of Bopara and Ramprakash are wasted in county cricket.
"Thankfully, these days there isn't the 'drop him, pick him, drop him, pick him' scenario there was in Ramps' day when he was dropped umpteen times and was always playing for his place," Stewart said.
"You have to be given time to perform and I believe Ravi must be treated that way so that he can become a wonderful international cricketer and not be left plying his trade just in county cricket like Ramps has been for the past seven years."