We must avoid spin obsession - Bopara
Ravi Bopara believes England's batsmen must not overplay their recent problems against spin when they take on Sri Lanka.
Bopara was an unused squad member on the recent Test trip against Pakistan, watching from the sidelines as Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman dismantled England's top order in a 3-0 whitewash. Eoin Morgan paid for his failures with his place in the squad and Bopara is hoping to get the nod at number six for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Despite the focus on facing slow bowling, he has warned that England cannot afford to take their eye off the new ball, and he said: "I think we were caught a little bit cold at the beginning of the UAE tour. As the tour went on everybody got better at playing spin, but it's not all about spin."
He added: "In these conditions, with this humidity, the ball will swing around, especially early doors.
"We've seen in the past Chaminda Vaas has been very successful out here and he is a swing bowler. We have to cope with that as well, it's not just about spin."
Bopara expects to play in Galle on March 26, but fellow all-rounder Samit Patel offers an alternative option should England choose to make use of his steady left-arm spin.
Although this tour represents a big chance for Bopara to establish himself in the middle order, he is refusing to look too far into the future, having earned just 12 Test caps in over four years since his debut.
"There's so much to think about, but I just have to concentrate on what I need to do in the first Test," he said.
"I need to go out and score big runs for England, help them win the Test match and then look to the next game.
"That's the only way I can approach it. In the past I've looked to far ahead and that's not the best thing to do sometimes."