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Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 23:31 UK

Key 'dreaming' of Ashes call-up

Rob Key
Key hit 24 fours and four sixes in hitting 270 against Glamorgan in July

Robert Key says he is in the form of his life as he eyes a "dream" England call-up ahead of the decisive fifth Ashes Test against Australia next week.

The Kent batsman last played Test cricket in 2005 but good form for Kent, including 90 against Northamptonshire on Tuesday, has helped his cause.

"I feel I'm playing as well as I have ever done," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's something you dream about, coming in for one game and potentially winning the Ashes. It would just be fantastic."

Key, who averages 31 from his 15 Tests with a top score of 221, added that he would be able to approach the match in a relaxed manner if selected.


"It's a bonus. If I didn't get any runs I'd go back to Kent, so nothing would have changed," he stated.

"It's great to hear people mention your name but what matters is what the selectors think."

England's batting has come under fire after disappointing performances in the Ashes with only one century, from Andrew Strauss, in the series compared to seven scored by Australia.

Ravi Bopara and Ian Bell are the batsmen most under threat, with 39-year-old Mark Ramprakash also mooted for a recall.

But former Surrey and England star Graham Thorpe believes 30-year-old Key should be given an opportunity.

"I've never been a big fan of Bopara at three. He's more a five," Thorpe told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Potentially I'd keep him in. Probably Bell would be the one I'd slide out and I suppose coming in I would consider someone like Robert Key."

Former Kent and England captain Chris Cowdrey told BBC Radio Kent: "No question for me, it's Rob Key.

"I think with Ramprakash there was a big case for him playing a year-and-a-half, two years ago.

"But I think now you've got to look forward. Realistically he's not going to go on tour in the winter, whereas Rob Key's got a decent chance.

"It is a one-off, it's a very strange match, but if you start picking Ramprakash, you should pick Marcus Trescothick, and if you start picking Trescothick, you should pick Andy Caddick - you can go on forever. We'll be playing the 1990 side soon

Gooch warns against wholesale changes

"I just think if it was my decision between Rob and 'Ramps' - Rob Key for me definitely."

Coach Andy Flower has suggested changes could be made to England's batting line-up for The Oval following the abject, series-levelling defeat inside three days in the fourth Test.

Bopara, Bell and Paul Collingwood contributed a total of 16 runs between them at Headingley.

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see also
Key stakes claim for Test recall
11 Aug 09 |  Counties
Surrey want swift Ramprakash call
11 Aug 09 |  England
Ramprakash in England contention
10 Aug 09 |  England
Key in England frame - Anderson
23 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Key double ton puts Kent in front
17 Jul 09 |  Counties
Flower hints at batting changes
09 Aug 09 |  England
Flintoff ruled out of fourth Test
07 Aug 09 |  England
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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