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Ravi targets Ashes spot

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Ravi Bopara has admitted he is desperate to play his way into contention for this winter’s Ashes series in Australia. The all-rounder hasn’t made a Test appearance for over a year, but a strong summer for Essex has once again seen the talented 28-year old talked about in relation to England’s tricky number-six batting spot.

With this summer’s Ashes series comprehensively wrapped up, England’s focus has now switched to this winter’s trip Down Under to take on an Australia side determined to prove something to their expectant public. England will again go into the series as favourites in the Paddy Power Ashes odds over Australia, but that’s not to say the next Ashes series won’t be a different story to the one we all saw this summer.

While scoring some big runs in the county game for Essex, Bopara has once again been a consistent presence in and around England’s ODI sides, scoring an impressive unbeaten 100 against Ireland – his first century in 90 one-day appearances.

And now Bopara is hoping he has caught the England selectors’ attention, admitting he would like nothing more to be on that plane to Australia this November, to help England justify their favouritism in the latest cricket odds.

“I don’t know where I stand right now, but I know I’ve got to get runs – it’s a simple formula.If you keep putting results on the board, knocking at that door, eventually someone’s going to open it.

“They can only ignore you for so long if you’re knocking at the door and scoring runs,” admitted Bopara.

Despite playing four of the five Tests this summer, Jonny Bairstow hasn’t appeared to cement himself as England’s number-six, possibly opening the door for Bopara if the selectors opt to bring in the Essex star.

But as well as Bopara and Bairstow, Chris Woakes is another player looking to establish himself in this England middle-order ahead of the next Ashes series. The all-rounder made a modest debut in the final Test of the summer, failing to make a massive impact but proving the selectors believe he has the ability to make it on the Test stage.

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