Bopara was first called up to the England One Day International team in 2007, before a difficult Test debut in Sri Lanka saw him dropped in early 2008 after a string of three ducks. He regained his place for a Test against the West Indies in the winter of 2008-09; on his return to the side, Bopara became the fifth batsman to score three consecutive Test centuries for England. Despite this success, during the 2009 Ashes Bopara again struggled and was dropped for the final Test of the series.
In the 2005 season, he scored 880 first-class runs, including his first first-class century. He also hit 135 in a non-first-class match against the touring Australians, putting on 270 for the second wicket with Alastair Cook, and in 2006 he was selected for England A in their March tour of the West Indies, as well as their matches against the touring Sri Lankans and Pakistanis in the summer of that year. In July, he was selected in England's 30-man provisional squad for the 2006 Champions Trophy. He was select for the third edition of World T20 in Caribbean.
In January 2007 Kevin Pietersen sustained a rib injury in England's first One Day International against Australia, keeping him out of the remainder of the series. Bopara was called up as his replacement, and made his ODI debut on 2 February. Later that month, he was named in the England squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, and he played his second ODI in England's second match of that tournament. In England's match against Sri Lanka, Bopara was named man of the match for his 52 off 53 balls, which brought England to within three runs of victory from a seemingly hopeless position. The partnership for the seventh wicket was an English World Cup record and was the second record partnership made by Bopara in the tournament, following his record fifth wicket partnership with Paul Collingwood against Canada. On 30 August he again featured in a prominent tail end partnership, this time with Stuart Broad as the pair added an unbeaten 99 for the 8th wicket to defeat India at Old Trafford. Bopara finished 43 not out.
In June 2007, he made his highest ever first-class score, against Northamptonshire striking 229 runs off 391 balls, including 27 fours, and one six. He was picked in the squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in September 2007, but was injured and was unable to go.
He made his Test debut in the tour to Sri Lanka in December 2007 but had a poor series, scoring only 42 runs in five innings including three ducks, and taking only one wicket at an average of 81. One BBC commentator described him as "well out of his depth at Test level", and Bopara was subsequently selected in the ODI squad but not the Test squad for the tour to New Zealand in early 2008. However, he returned to the Test squad for the fourth Test against South Africa in August 2008, following a good season for Essex in the County Championship.
On 4 June 2008, Bopara recorded his highest List A score in the quarter finals of the Friends Provident Trophy. He scored an unbeaten 201 runs off 138 balls, including 18 fours and 10 sixes. Bopara's score was just the eighth instance of a double hundred in the history of List A cricket and the highest for six years. On 9 September 2008 Bopara was then named in England's 15-man squad for the inaugural Stanford Super Series in Antigua. There, England took on the Middlesex Crusaders and Trinidad and Tobago before facing the Stanford All-Stars on 1 November. The winning players in that match would have earned $1million each, with a further $1million being shared between the four players left out of the side. This never came to fruition, however, as England fell to a heavy defeat in the final. The same day, Bopara was also handed an Increment Contract by the ECB.
On 18 February 2009, Bopara, along with Amjad Khan, was invited to join the England Test squad on their tour of the West Indies as cover for Andrew Flintoff who was struggling with a hip injury. He scored 124 not out in a warm up match, earning him a place in the 4th Test against the West Indies. In the first innings he scored his maiden Test century with 104 off 143 balls before being caught. He was dropped for the next Test of the series, however he was re-selected for the first Test of the home series against the West Indies on 6 May. There he scored his second consecutive Test century, scoring 143 runs from 186 balls. He then scored another century in the second Test, becoming only the fifth England player to score three consecutive centuries. He credited his success to his coaching by Graham Gooch at Essex. Meanwhile, AustraliansMitchell Johnson and Ricky Ponting stated to local media that during the upcoming 2009 Ashes series they were going to target Bopara in particular.
Bopara getting hit in the throat by a bouncer during the first Test of the 2009 Ashes series at the SWALEC Stadium.
On 22 June, the England selectors announced a sixteen-man preliminary Ashes squad for that summer's series; it included Bopara.Cricinfo staff wrote that "Bopara's stock could not be higher". He found success in a warm-up match against Warwickshire, however, scoring 104 while opening with Andrew Strauss.
Bopara struggled during the series, however, with scores of 35, one, 18, 27, 23, one and a duck. He was dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus in five of his seven innings. Speculation grew about his position for the final Test, where England required a win to regain the Ashes, and it was announced on 16 August that Bopara had been dropped in favour of uncapped Jonathan Trott, who went on to score a century on debut. Bopara returned to Essex and scored 201 against Surrey, and despite being replaced in the Test team remained in England's squads for the ODI series against Australia and the Champions Trophy in September. On 11 September 2009 it was announced that Bopara had been awarded an "incremental contract" with England, as had Trott. However, after the Champions Trophy Bopara did not play ODI cricket for ten months.
Trott kept his Test place after his impressive debut, and Bopara saw Michael Carberry and Eoin Morgan make their Tests debuts in the away and home series against Bangladesh respectively, with Bopara making neither squad. However, some impressive form for Essex in domestic 40-over and Twenty20 cricket in 2010, as well as a century for the England Lions saw him recalled to the ODI team for the series decider against Bangladesh, after an injury to Ian Bell. Bopara hit a late innings of 45 not out from just 16 balls and took career-best ODI bowling figures of 4/38.
Ravi Bopara celebrates reaching 50 against Ireland, en route to his first One Day International century.
Bopara headed for the West Indies with England Lions in January 2011 after he missed out for the 2010-11 Ashes series Test and ODI squad and the 2011 World Cup. His stay in the Caribbean was cut short when he was called up to England's World Cup squad before the tournament as a replacement for the injured Eoin Morgan. Bopara played in England's opening match against the Netherlands and scored a match-winning 30 from 20 balls. After that, he did not play against India and Ireland as England chose to field a second spinner, Michael Yardy. Bopara returned to play against South Africa in place of the dropped Paul Collingwood. Bopara came in with the score at 15/3 and managed a partnership of 99 with Trott; Bopara ended with 60 of 98 balls. England restricted South Africa to 165 and Bopara was named the man of the match.
In 2011, Bopara turned down £100,000 to play for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL as a late replacement for the injured Paul Collingwood. After Collingwood retired from Tests, Bopara and Morgan were the leading contenders to take his place in the side. Bopara, who had already scored two centuries in the County Championship by May, was the favourite but an innings of 193 by Morgan for the England Lions against the touring Sri Lankans kept Bopara out of the Test side. After missing out on the series against Sri Lanka, he returned to the team in August for the third Test against India in place of the injured Trott.
In the following ODI series with India, Bopara was England's top run scorer with 197. In the tied fourth ODI Bopara hit a career-best 96 before being dismissed by Munaf Patel. On 23 September 2011, Bopara claimed the best bowling figures by an Englishman in a T20 international with 4/10.