Exclusive: Bopara focussed on own game

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Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara says he isn’t keeping track of his competitors for the England Test team and is solely focusing on himself and his own game leading into Sunday’s clash with Surrey.

A number of positions in the batting line-up are uncertain and the 28-year-old wants to return to the Test fold and add to his 13 caps while being a crucial player in the ODI and T20 set-up. England hopefuls Eoin Morgan, Sam Robson, James Taylor and Gary Ballance have already impressed this season while Michael Carberry guided Hampshire to victory with an unbeaten century earlier this week.

Bopara almost reached a half-century himself against Derbyshire on Monday and showed glimpses of what he is capable of before losing his wicket for 48 runs. The first Test of the summer is against Sri Lanka on June 12th and competition to be in the XI is fierce but Bopara has exclusively told GiveMeSport he is just focusing on himself.

“I’m not too worried about anyone else. I have to do what I do best, to tell you the truth I don’t even know who is scoring runs. I never keep an eye on the scores and whatever they are doing I’ll leave them to it but I just have to do my bit.”

He will be hoping to impress the England selectors in his next game which begins at The Kia Oval on Sunday against Surrey. Essex go into their second County Championship fixture full of confidence after disposing of Derbyshire in their season opener at Chelmsford.

Surrey, led by former South African captain Graeme Smith will provide a different challenge with the London based outfit one of the favourites for promotion back to the top flight despite their poor start to the year. They suffered a heavy 10 wicket loss by Glamorgan but Bopara knows they will be a difficult proposition.

“The Oval is always one of the best wickets to bat on but they do have a good bowling attack but so have we. Whatever pitch is produced there we will have the bases covered in terms of spin and seam whilst our batters are in good nick.

“It will be a good game because Surrey should be challenging around the top of the table so it will be interesting,” Bopara told GiveMeSport.

“It is an aim of ours too and we have been trying to get out of the division for many years now but things have changed this year at Essex. We have a different style of practice and approaching games and we have started well.

“Obviously it is only the first game of the season and you can’t judge your whole year on the first game of the year but nevertheless it’s been a good start so hopefully we can kick on from here."

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