Cricket

Ravi Bopara eyeing England Test recall

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After a string of successful performances for Essex in Division Two of the County Championship, Ravi Bopara is hoping that he can once again find his way back into the England dressing room.

The right-handed batsman has played 13 Test matches for his country, but has failed to hold down a position in the side for an extended period of time. On four separate occasions, Bopara has settled into the side, only to be dropped after poor form.

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Streak 

But now, with England’s winless streak forever growing, it might be a good time to bring the 29-year-old back into the picture.

He is very experienced in international cricket, having represented the Three Lions in almost 150 limited-overs contests.

Bopara proved pivotal in securing victory for Essex in their recent top-of-the-table clash with Hampshire. An unbeaten 48 – after scoring 79 in his first innings – helped the Eagles home to a three-wicket win, which moved them within 18 points of the South coast side.

Chances 

Speaking to BBC Essex, Bopara believes that continuing this run of form will endear him to the ECB, and increase his chances of playing in his first Test match since 2012.

Referring to his eyebrow-raising knocks with the bat, the England T20 regular said: "I'm sure selectors take notice - it would be nice.

"But there were a lot of runs scored in the last Test. It's difficult because you're looking for someone to fail or an injury, which is never nice."

With Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott both dropping out of the Test squad in the last year, Alastair Cook’s side has evolved to bring in the likes of Moeen Ali, Sam Robson and Gary Ballance. 

However, those alterations in the team haven’t allowed a return for the Essex all-rounder. Nevertheless, the longer the run without a victory goes on, the more likely England may be to revert back to a player who knows what it takes to win a Test match. 

Average

His average with the bat remains the right side of 30 in the five-day game, but a lack of consistency in the Test arena has held back the right-hander.

Aside from striving to return to the England squad, Bopara is chasing promotion in the County Championship and Natwest T20 Blast success with Essex.

An astonishing average of 74 with the bat in the shortest form of the game this year has helped the Southeast side to the summit of the South Group with four games to go. 

Bopara added: "I've just got to stay in the frame. I'm enjoying my cricket.”

The longer he can sustain his current run of form, the more likely Bopara is to get a call from the England squad if their batting line-up continue to struggle, or if a few injuries are sustained.

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket

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