London, June 23 (ANI): Ahead of making his Ashes debut, English batsman Ravi Bopara has warned the Aussies not to waste their breath trying to sledge him.
England's No 3 was tickled by Oz legend Shane Warne labelling him vain, and claiming he is "too worried about how he looks" on the field.
The Essex star just smiled and said: "That's rich coming from him! Everybody is entitled to their opinion I guess, I just worry about what I do."
"A lot is made of sledging but I haven't faced any for a while now. I've just kept my head down and done my own thing," The Sun quoted Bopara, 24, as saying.
Bopara has also been a target for jibes from Australia left-arm quickie Mitchell Johnson ahead of the npower First Test starting in Cardiff on July 8.
However, the right-hander has already shown Ricky Ponting's side what he can do, when he shared a 270-run partnership with England team-mate Alastair Cook for Essex against the Aussies on their 2005 tour.
"That was a few years ago but an innings like that gives you confidence and it made me want to play Test cricket. I've always wanted to bat in the top order for my country - and I now have that opportunity to do so against the best in the world," Bopara said.
Bopara's back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies earlier this summer earned him the nod over former skipper Michael Vaughan in the 16-man training squad for the npower Ashes series.
"Getting in ahead of Vaughan gives me confidence to go out and do what I did against the West Indies. He's a quality player who has done it against the best in the world. And Steve is a dangerous bowler - when he gets it right he can destroy any line-up," he said.
"There's no extra pressure for me, though. I'd like to think I've earned my place," he added. (ANI)