London:Young England batsman Ravi Bopara has hit back at legendary spinner Shane Warne for doubting his credentials at the highest level, stressing that he has earned a place in the England squad for the Ashes Series commencing next month.
Warne had last week said that Bopara is "not an international cricketer" because he "can be put off his game too easily and he's too worried about how he looks".
"Over the last couple of months I've earned my place on the team. I've always wanted to bat in the top order for my country. To do it against the best in the world will be a great challenge for me," he was quoted as saying by 'The Guardian'.
Bopara was written off as an international batsmen after three successive ducks in Sri Lanka in 2007 but he scored 104 against the West Indies in Barbados in February, made 143 in the first Test against the same opponents at Lord's last month and became only the fifth Englishman to get three Test centuries in a row with an innings of 108 at Durham.
"I work very hard on the player I want to be (but) I didn't think too much about what happened in Sri Lanka. I didn't change a lot," he said.
"I just try to enjoy it. You can put pressure on yourself and make too much fuss about it. I think it's important you go out and enjoy yourself. When you're a kid you don't worry about anything," said the batsman, who also earned praise from Indian great Sachin Tendulkar.