England: Ravi Bopara 'ready for Test cricket', says Essex skipper

Ravi Bopara in action for England
Bopara has a Test-match batting average of 32 from 19 innings

Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara should be considered for a return to Test cricket with England, according to his club captain James Foster.

The 29-year-old, who won the last of his 13 Test caps two years ago, made 147 against Gloucestershire this week.

"I honestly believe he is ready to play Test cricket," Foster told BBC Essex.

"He's in a great place. So if there are any spots up for grabs, through injuries or a lack of form, I believe he is the man for that job."

Bopara remains a regular in Twenty20 and one-day cricket for England, but has not featured in a Test since scoring 0 and 22 in the first match of a three-game series against South Africa in July 2012.

Before England's 1-0 series defeat by Sri Lanka last month, Bopara said his omission from the side felt like a "hole inside me".external-link

He has averaged 56 from nine innings in the County Championship Division Two this season, including the century which helped beat Gloucestershire by 10 wickets and a high score of 162 against Kent in June.

"Ravi is looking in great form. He looks like he has kicked on again," added Foster.

"People may not understand how someone of Ravi's experience can kick on, but he's improving which is exciting for us and exciting for him."