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It's as tough as it gets - but it's not over yet; Warwickshire and England paceman Boyd Rankin counts down to the crucial third Ashes Test.

WE have just arrived in Perth and now have two training sessions before the third Test starts - and for me that's two chances to do enough to earn my Test debut.

The first two Tests have clearly not gone the way we wanted and I would love to be involved on Friday to help the lads try to achieve the win we desperately need.

I am champing at the bit to play. When you are on tour but not in the first 11, it can be be a little bit frustrating.

For all the practice and net-bowling, there comes a point when you just want to get out there and play. I have enjoyed playing in some of the warm-up matches - now it would be great to take that extra step.

There is a lot of competition out here. A lot has been made of Steve Finn, Chris Tremlett and myself being selected because of our height, but we are all slightly different bowlers, so we we'll see which way the selectors go.

It was very disappointing to go two-nil down in the series but there were better signs in the last Test. Some of our batters got time at the crease and that's what we need to keep their bowlers out on the park.

Mitchell Johnson is a fine bowler but will find it harder if we bat for long periods. That's something England have done well in recent years and we have the players to do it. Belly is certainly among them and he batted really well in the first innings at Adelaide.

The Ashes has far from gone to plan for us so far but, personally, it's still a really exciting time. My first senior tour is an Ashes tour, as big as it gets, with Australia on top, as tough as it gets.

You can only learn from being in this environment and that's what I'm doing, as I have learned how to adjust my lengths after bowling in the warm-up games.

One of those warm-ups was in Perth so if I do get the nod on Friday, I won't be playing at a ground new to me.

So I've got those two training sessions to earn the call. It's down to me. I would love to be in the team on Friday and helping England get back in the series. The Ashes are far from gone yet.

Boyd Rankin is supported by Handelsbanken's Birmingham branches in association with

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Boyd Rankin is "champing at the bit'' to play in the third Test.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 11, 2013
Words:428
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