Michael Vaughan backs Boyd Rankin for place in Ashes squad
Former England captain Michael Vaughan says Boyd Rankin should be selected for this winter's Ashes.
Last Updated: 17/09/13 6:53pm
England are due to name their squad for Australia early next week, and Ireland-born Rankin's impressive performances in one-day cricket have put him firmly in the frame.
The giant 29-year-old Warwickshire star, uncapped at Test level, troubled Australia's batsmen with his bounce and pace which would be big assets on the pitches Down Under, though the same could be said of his main rival for a place in the squad, Chris Tremlett.
He has taken nine wickets at an average of 16.88 in the 50-over format and Vaughan believes Rankin deserves a shot at Test cricket.
"I have been immensely impressed with Boyd Rankin," Vaughan told Sky Sports News.
"I think he will be pushing for a place in the Ashes squad, maybe ahead of Chris Tremlett.
"England have Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan. I think they have to take Graham Onions because if Jimmy Anderson is injured or not quite right Graham is a consistent length bowler. I think they will take Steven Finn who is a work in progress.
"They will then be looking for one more bowler. Rankin is bowling with an amount of pace, bowling in the right areas and troubling the Australian batsmen.
"It wouldn't surprise me if he got the call."
England won this summer's Test series 3-0 but Vaughan expects a closer contest in Australia.
"I think it will be closer than this summer," he said.
"The Aussies are smart and clever under Darren Lehmann. I'd be amazed if they are not preparing fast bouncy wickets.
"But although Australia have plenty of positives to take from the (Test) series here they haven't won. England know how to win the key moments.
"For Australia to win it they will have to get off to a great start. So that first day and first session of the first Test in Brisbane will be crucial."