The Ashes 2013/14: Alastair Cook wants seamers to step up and challenge for places
Alastair Cook has challenged the seamers competing for an Ashes place alongside James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Last Updated: 27/10/13 10:27am
Cook has confirmed that Anderson and Broad will spearhead the pace attack in Australia, leaving Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett to prove they are worthy of a start in next month's opening Test in Brisbane.
Tim Bresnan also has a chance of being fit in time for the clash at the Gabba on November 21, although the Yorkshire all-rounder has yet to start bowling again following back surgery.
"It's quite clear to see that Jimmy and Broady have done enough over their fantastic careers to be first-choice bowlers," said Cook in his first press conference in Perth.
"We tend to play three quicks so there's one place up for grabs. It's pretty clear for everyone to know that and people have got to stick their hand up.
"If they do well in these warm-up games, the opportunities they get, they're going to put their name there."
Ireland-born Rankin made his England debut during the one-day international series against Australia in September, and Cook believes his pace and height may give Michael Clarke's side problems Down Under.
"He's a big, tall lump," said Cook. "He can get the ball down pretty close to 90mph. You can see from the selection of the squad we've picked we think pace and bounce will be quite crucial on Australian wickets. That's quite common.
"Very skilful shorter bowlers can have success but in general pace and bounce is quite key.
"He certainly gives us that option. He hasn't played a Test match or been around a Test environment before so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
"I think the next four days in the nets might be interesting with him, Finny, Broady all bowling."
Also bowling in the nets will be two left-armers, Tymal Mills and Harry Gurney, who England have taken along to prepare for facing the likes of Mitchell Johnson in Test matches.
"We don't have any left-armers in the squad and there's a possibility that we're going to face a couple of left-armers in the Ashes series," Cook said.
"It's great practice for them, great experience for them, but they're very much there to bowl at us."
On Bresnan, who has not played since the Durham Test in early August, Cook added: "He might be back bowling 100 per cent by the first Test match - might be. That's the kind of progress we'd hope to see from him.
"He'll obviously have to have some bowling in matches before he goes into a Test match if possible. The performance squad come out as well, so we've obviously got both options available for him to get some matches in.
"But we don't know how his back is going to react. We'll wait and see."
Watch the Ashes live on Sky Sports this winter, beginning with the opening Test at the Gabba. Coverage begins at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 on November 20.