England news September 17, 2013

Stokes in Ashes mix - Giles

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Ben Stokes' performances in the ODI series against Australia could have pushed him closer to a spot in this winter's Ashes touring party, according to Ashley Giles, England's limited-overs coach. Giles, who is also a selector, said the panel would sit down for a "huge meeting" ahead of Monday's announcement of the squad to tour Australia and that the one-day form shown by the likes of Stokes and Boyd Rankin may have a bearing, despite England's 2-1 defeat in the series.

Durham allrounder Stokes was asked to fill the role of England's third seamer and his displays were increasingly impressive, culminating in a five-wicket haul at the Ageas Bowl on Monday; he also gave a glimpse of his ability with the bat during a crucial partnership with Jos Buttler to help England win the fourth ODI in Cardiff. His ability in the field, with Giles called him "one of the best in the world", could also help push him ahead of the likes of Chris Woakes and Ravi Bopara for inclusion as a Test allrounder.

Rankin, meanwhile, was the pick of the bowlers against Australia, demonstrating pace and bounce as well as impressive control (his 29.1 overs were delivered at an economy of 3.63). Since making his one-day debut against Ireland, he has taken nine wickets at 16.88 and, with a view to Australian pitches, his height may sway England, much as Chris Tremlett's raw physicality did three years ago.

"They certainly won't have done it any harm," Giles said of the pair's prospects. "If you look at the attributes both of them have; Boyd is six foot 10 or something, a huge man, and he bowls at a good rate of knots. We tend to like our tall fast bowlers. Going to Australia, playing on those wickets, those attributes are important."

"Ben is someone who has been on the radar for a couple of years and people are starting to talk about him, I think he's a really exciting cricketer and there's a lot more to come from him with bat and ball. Already, possibly, he's one of the best fielders in the world - I know that's a big call - he's a terrific athlete so those all-round skills put him in an elite market. When you can do those sorts of things you will be talked about across all forms of the game. We just need to be careful that we aren't pushing them too hard, it still takes time and the experience of playing. But, so far, so good on the report card."

Although England's inexperienced attack struggled to contain Australia in two of the three completed matches - conceding 315 for 7 at Old Trafford and 298 at the Ageas Bowl - Stokes finished as their leading wicket-taker, coming on at first change and nudging 90mph on the speed gun. He only batted three times but twice passed his previous best score.

"We did ask a lot of him as third seamer, we know that," Giles said. "But some of the stuff we've seen this summer, even with red ball, has taken us down that path. He reverses it both ways, he bowls with pace - he bounced out Wade yesterday - he's aggressive. We don't make those big decisions without some evidence and it's there that he's made great leaps.

"His batting is extremely dangerous, as he showed on occasions, but there's a lot more to come there. The guy is a genuine allrounder, across the aspects of the game and quite possibly across all three forms. It's very important we look after these guys and try to nurture them, they are our greatest assets and we'd be silly to take our eyes off the ball."

England are expected to named a 16-man Ashes squad, although in 2010-11 they later expanded the number to 17. Giles would not be drawn further on the make-up of the party, other than to say "the first 12 pick themselves", but said that the selectors had plenty of options to consider. "It will be a good debate, because we've got some very good cricketers. Some of them have come into this series and really impressed, I think that's healthy for some of the guys we have rested that we have young players chasing them up."

The decision to omit several players who had been involved in the home Ashes, including Alastair Cook, England's Test and ODI captain, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad, was not met with universal approval and while Giles was pleased with the signs of progress, he admitted that losing a second bilateral series of the summer had not been part of the plan.

"It has been useful. The win in Cardiff was obviously the most pleasing aspect," he said. "That win centred around a lot of the young guys having a really good day. We thought at the start of the series that if we could move two guys on a fair distance in terms of creating a larger pool of players in one-day cricket then this series has done a lot of its job. In Rankin and Stokes, they have probably done that on their own but there are others too, so as a coach that's really pleasing. Ultimately, of course, these aren't practice games and we lost 2-1."

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lmaotsetung on September 17, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    To me Rankin has been the most impressive of all the new guys in the just concluded ODI series with Australia. Pace and control are something that don't really go well together and he's got both. Plus the fact that they said he's a better with the red ball. Right now he's definetely ahead of Tremlett. Stokes as a 4th seamer is very interesting. He can't be worse that all the #6 England has had since Collingwood retired and his bowling might just be a tad better than Woakes. If Butler has a couple more ODI series like he just had and improve his keeping he could well be fighting Bairstow for that keeper spot when Prior retires. All in all I've enjoyed the new lads in this series and plenty of positives to take for sure.

  • Nutcutlet on September 17, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    I'm not sure that it's wise of Giles (or any other selector) to let slip thinking that may be taking place about the composition of a touring party before it is announced. If certain players' names are aired in public, it naturally creates an increased sense of expectation in all of the players (and those who are connected to them) who have been mentioned. This is certain to lead to disappointment in those players whose names have slipped out and, come the formal announcement, are not on the list. I'm surprised that Giles has broken ranks & allowed his tongue to wag. If anyone has studied the manner in which Andy Flower handles tricky or loaded questions, you'd have noticed how there is a perceptible pause before he gives his completely thought-out answer.That is recommended practice & saves a deal of embarrassment & apologies later. Anyway, the Ashes campaign is not ultimately Giles' concern. Perhaps he forgot that that in his off-guard moment. It's likely, isn't it?

  • on September 21, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Cook(1), Root(2), Trott(3), Pietersen(4), Bell(5), Stokes(6+4th seamer), Prior(7+wk), Compton(Spare 1,2), Taylor(spare 3,4,5,6), Bairstow(spare WK), Anderson(1st seamer), Finn(2nd seamer), Bresnan(3rd seamer), Tremlett (3rd seamer if Bresnan isn't fit, 1st spare seamer), Broad(2nd spare seamer), Rankin(3rd spare seamer), Onions(In the squad as a cover for Bresnan)

  • on September 21, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Stokes is an allrounder who can bowl well.And in ashes,he may have a splendid debut.

  • landl47 on September 20, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    @Sigismund: Glad you share my opinion of Vince. I would put his career average (around 37, counting the current game) more down to the fact that he didn't have great seasons when he was 20/21, since he's only 22 now. That's very understandable, since he was just learning the game. This year, as I said, he has a FC average of nearly 60- and how many 22-year olds can say that?

  • Sigismund on September 19, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    @landl47: totally with you on James Vince. Have been watching his progress carefully. Not only has he got an impressive tally of tons, but he has also scored some seriously important ones for his team - a few when no-one else got past 25. He also plays cracking shots and scores at a decent lick - the sort of player who gets the bowlers demoralised, making life much easier for everyone else (i.e. he's not Trott). His average isn't spectacular but I feel he has been a bit dragged down by his team's poor results.

    I presume he bowls some sort of pies, but has picked up several important wickets this season, and a 5-for.

    He'll make a super number 5 for England one day, hopefully quite soon.

  • JG2704 on September 19, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @Daniel Vogt on (September 18, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

    Are you thee Daniel Vogt? If so I'm sure Ashley Giles will be absolutely devastated that you have such a low opinion of him

  • landl47 on September 19, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Speaking of the performance squad, James Vince is quietly making a very good case for himself. Today he scored his 4th county championship ton of the season and 3rd in 3 games. He also reached 1000 runs in the CC, at an average of nearly 60. He's still only 22 and won't be 23 until March, but already has 10 FC hundreds.

    He's a good-looking player, being compared to Michael Vaughan in style, and is becoming a very effective one. I'll be surprised (and disappointed) if he isn't in the performance squad and if he continues the progress he has made this year he'll be in contention for full England honours before long.

  • on September 18, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Yeah Ashley giles, your opinion on cricketers is one i value greatly, because we all know what a champion cricketer you were !! Haha

  • yorkshire-86 on September 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Batsmen pick themselves. Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, Compton, Bairstow - with the latter also as the reserve WK. Prior goes as keeper, Swann and one of Panesar/Tredwell as the spinners. And for the fast bowlers - Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Finn will be on the jet barring injury. Thats 14 players, leaving 2 spare places in a 16 man squad. So Stokes and Rankin could quite easily have booked a seat on the jet, although Onions has been impressive in the CC. As for Carberry, surely the recently completed series has proven he is not, never was, and never will be, good enough to play cricket at this level. Ditto Bopara - we cant be carrying people who have one decent game then are total passengers for the rest of the series.

  • Lmaotsetung on September 17, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    To me Rankin has been the most impressive of all the new guys in the just concluded ODI series with Australia. Pace and control are something that don't really go well together and he's got both. Plus the fact that they said he's a better with the red ball. Right now he's definetely ahead of Tremlett. Stokes as a 4th seamer is very interesting. He can't be worse that all the #6 England has had since Collingwood retired and his bowling might just be a tad better than Woakes. If Butler has a couple more ODI series like he just had and improve his keeping he could well be fighting Bairstow for that keeper spot when Prior retires. All in all I've enjoyed the new lads in this series and plenty of positives to take for sure.

  • Nutcutlet on September 17, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    I'm not sure that it's wise of Giles (or any other selector) to let slip thinking that may be taking place about the composition of a touring party before it is announced. If certain players' names are aired in public, it naturally creates an increased sense of expectation in all of the players (and those who are connected to them) who have been mentioned. This is certain to lead to disappointment in those players whose names have slipped out and, come the formal announcement, are not on the list. I'm surprised that Giles has broken ranks & allowed his tongue to wag. If anyone has studied the manner in which Andy Flower handles tricky or loaded questions, you'd have noticed how there is a perceptible pause before he gives his completely thought-out answer.That is recommended practice & saves a deal of embarrassment & apologies later. Anyway, the Ashes campaign is not ultimately Giles' concern. Perhaps he forgot that that in his off-guard moment. It's likely, isn't it?

  • on September 21, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Cook(1), Root(2), Trott(3), Pietersen(4), Bell(5), Stokes(6+4th seamer), Prior(7+wk), Compton(Spare 1,2), Taylor(spare 3,4,5,6), Bairstow(spare WK), Anderson(1st seamer), Finn(2nd seamer), Bresnan(3rd seamer), Tremlett (3rd seamer if Bresnan isn't fit, 1st spare seamer), Broad(2nd spare seamer), Rankin(3rd spare seamer), Onions(In the squad as a cover for Bresnan)

  • on September 21, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Stokes is an allrounder who can bowl well.And in ashes,he may have a splendid debut.

  • landl47 on September 20, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    @Sigismund: Glad you share my opinion of Vince. I would put his career average (around 37, counting the current game) more down to the fact that he didn't have great seasons when he was 20/21, since he's only 22 now. That's very understandable, since he was just learning the game. This year, as I said, he has a FC average of nearly 60- and how many 22-year olds can say that?

  • Sigismund on September 19, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    @landl47: totally with you on James Vince. Have been watching his progress carefully. Not only has he got an impressive tally of tons, but he has also scored some seriously important ones for his team - a few when no-one else got past 25. He also plays cracking shots and scores at a decent lick - the sort of player who gets the bowlers demoralised, making life much easier for everyone else (i.e. he's not Trott). His average isn't spectacular but I feel he has been a bit dragged down by his team's poor results.

    I presume he bowls some sort of pies, but has picked up several important wickets this season, and a 5-for.

    He'll make a super number 5 for England one day, hopefully quite soon.

  • JG2704 on September 19, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @Daniel Vogt on (September 18, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

    Are you thee Daniel Vogt? If so I'm sure Ashley Giles will be absolutely devastated that you have such a low opinion of him

  • landl47 on September 19, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Speaking of the performance squad, James Vince is quietly making a very good case for himself. Today he scored his 4th county championship ton of the season and 3rd in 3 games. He also reached 1000 runs in the CC, at an average of nearly 60. He's still only 22 and won't be 23 until March, but already has 10 FC hundreds.

    He's a good-looking player, being compared to Michael Vaughan in style, and is becoming a very effective one. I'll be surprised (and disappointed) if he isn't in the performance squad and if he continues the progress he has made this year he'll be in contention for full England honours before long.

  • on September 18, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Yeah Ashley giles, your opinion on cricketers is one i value greatly, because we all know what a champion cricketer you were !! Haha

  • yorkshire-86 on September 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Batsmen pick themselves. Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, Compton, Bairstow - with the latter also as the reserve WK. Prior goes as keeper, Swann and one of Panesar/Tredwell as the spinners. And for the fast bowlers - Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Finn will be on the jet barring injury. Thats 14 players, leaving 2 spare places in a 16 man squad. So Stokes and Rankin could quite easily have booked a seat on the jet, although Onions has been impressive in the CC. As for Carberry, surely the recently completed series has proven he is not, never was, and never will be, good enough to play cricket at this level. Ditto Bopara - we cant be carrying people who have one decent game then are total passengers for the rest of the series.

  • JG2704 on September 18, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    @RodStark on (September 18, 2013, 13:50 GMT) What did Nick say when dropped? Whatever it was , if it put the high and mighty's backs up then good on him. Nick was never publicly backed first of all in NZ even after he scored a couple of tons and then was asked to guest for Worcs vs Aus and he did much better that Root or JB vs Aus and then was dropped. While I'm not for him being dropped I can understand the decision but why ask him to guest for Worcs and waste his time if the decision was already made? He maybe hasn't done that much but I'd say he's done at least as much as the 2 Yorkies since being dropped and definitely more battingwise than Tremlett bowlingwise

  • Sigismund on September 18, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    @siddhartha87: Root did not fail as an opener in the Ashes. Certainly, he didn't have a dream series, but he did his job well. Almost every time he got a low score he still batted for a substantial amount of time (70% of the opener's job), and often he was playing to under team orders to dig in. Good experience for him, and when he gets given a more free reign in more favourable conditions he is likely to show his class. Consider this, furthermore: how many decent players would rate making 180 at Lord's as the best innings of their life? And he's only 23.

  • on September 18, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    The one area of real head-scratching is the second spinner, particularly given Tredwell's poor first-class figures and recent performance. Nobody else stands out - Kerrigan was a fiasco, Borthwick is more of a batsman these days (though worth watching as a possible future allrounder), Patel wouldn't get my mum out and Monty is Gone-ty. Someone has to be there to fill Swann's huge boots; good luck to the selectors.

  • RodStark on September 18, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    I'm surprised so many people think Compton is still in the mix. I was sorry they dropped him, but he doesn't seem to have done much since to win his place back, and his comkments about being dropped did not seem to be well received--another reason they wanted Carberry to succeed in the 1-dayers. It is definitely a problem. Maybe they'll just use Trott as reserve opener? If they do take one, I'd bet on Carberry rather than Compton at this point.

    Oh, and doesn't the performance squad go home during the second test? They will only be available for call up for a limited time.

  • YorkshirePudding on September 18, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I cant see there being much difference between the Oval test squad and the one announced on monday, the only exception may be the removal of Kerrigan. With Onions and Tremlett added and a provision for Bresnan.

    The only question mark really is the second spinner and backup batsman, probably Taylor with Bairstow being along to sub as keeper.

  • siddhartha87 on September 18, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Root has failed as opnener in this Ashes. Probably he should sent back to No 6.Another option is to bring Garry Ballance at no 6 and give Root one last chance as an opener.I hope England does not mistake about playing Woakes or Stokes as no 7. England batsmen are not in great form. So it will be better if they go with 6 batsmen+prior. My XI for the Ashes- 1. cook 2.root 3. Trott 4.KP 5.Bell 6. Balance 7.Prior 8.Broad 9.Swann 10.Anderson 11. Finn

  • on September 18, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    Stokes should not be in the Ashes squad. So he had a decent ODI series? So what? The Ashes is an entirely different ball game.

  • landl47 on September 18, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Rankin is in a different category from the others. He's 29 and at his best now. Either he is picked now or he's not going to make it. If Tremlett was back to his best, then maybe Tremlett would be ahead of him, but Tremlett hasn't looked as good as he was in 2010/11. I'd take Rankiin as part of a squad of 5 fast bowlers, with Anderson, Broad, Finn and (if he's fit) Bresnan as the others.

    Stokes is a very exciting prospect, but he's 22, very raw and his inexperience showed in the ODI series. His bowling is closer to test class than his batting at present, but he's not a 3rd seamer or a test #7 yet and he has to be one or the other. I'd keep him in the performance squad.

    The other who made a big step forward was Buttler. He batted with great maturity, won a game for England and kept well, too. He's also 22 and not ready for tests , but in the future I see both him and Bairstow in the side when Prior retires. At present I'd take YJB and put Buttler in the performance squad.

  • Tigg on September 18, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @Anton Ollie Raynor as second spinner? You're having a laugh mate. Sure he took 15 in one match, buit that is one match. He's nowhere near international standard at the moment. Improving, yes. But way down the pecking order.

  • anton1234 on September 18, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    You have to take your best fast bowlers. Just because Finn, Rankin, Tremlett are all 6ft 7in plus doesn't mean one has to miss out. They, along with Anderson, are the best 4 fast bowlers in the country. Onions takes a lot of wickets at Durham where the conditions are helpful and very different to Australia with the exception perhaps the MCG (4th test).

    I would take the Rayner as the spinner. Kerrigan looked out of his depth at Oval and will surely leak easy runs. I would take Ollie Rayner as the surprise. He has improved a lot this year.

  • golgo_85 on September 18, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    This is a case of an easily overwhelmed Giles running his mouth when Stokes himself wouldn't say that he was ready for an Ashes spot yet. To fill in the 3rd seamer's place, Woakes should be the next in line but I, personally, would love to see Rankin in there. Finn is still blowing hot and cold but he does deserve another chance and the next Ashes may well be that chance and then, we have another option in Bresnan. I'm pretty sure it's all over for both Tremlett and Onions. If they go with four seamers then it should be Anderson, Broad, Finn/Rankin, Bresnan/Woakes. It's way too early to even consider Stokes based on an expensive 5 for - no matter how many wickets you get, in an innings where nearly 300 runs were scored, you shouldn't be among the bowlers who leaked 61 runs, that's inexperience for you which is understandable. He doesn't need this sort of pointless attention this early when Giles has one of his brainless moments.

  • ArthursAshes on September 18, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    People here talking about a 17 or 18 man squad really are missing the point. With the Performance squad in Australia there is a case for a 15 or even 14 man Ashes squad.

    England touring teams tend to play a few warm games followed by Test after Test. This winter is slightly different, but between Test 2 and 5 there are no other games, it's Test's all the way. If a player is out of form calling in a squad member who's had no cricket for a couple of months rarely works, it's just the way Test cricket is these days. If the performance squad are playing games it surely makes sense to pick the form players from there. This should be the future for Test teams that can afford to do it. So often touring teams struggle from having players out of form because they don't get any cricket between Tests. No point in having a large squad of players, several of which aren't playing and lack form because there are no games to play other than Tests.

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 18, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Doesnt really matter who we put on the field in the ashes, australia simply cant compete with the mighty, mighty England. 5-0

  • Tigg on September 18, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    For me, an 18 man Ashes squad should be, if I had to drop it to 17 I'd maybe leave out Finn or Stokes/Clarke:

    Batsmen - Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Bairstow, Taylor. Bowlers - Anderson, Swann, Broad, Onions, Tremlett, Rankin, Finn, Kerrigan Keepers - Prior AR - Stokes/Clarke

    I'd leave out Woakes as the pitches won't suit him and would have Bairstow as backup keeper.

  • ArthursAshes on September 18, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Given that Rankin is 29, if he's got what it takes he has to be in the England Test squad sooner rather than later. Like Tremlett, age is against him, so if the selectors think that these tall fast bowlers will get more out of the Australian wickets, now is the time to pick them. Finn has age on his side, although I suppose it's possible that all three might get the call.

    Given that the performance squad will also be there as well, there really is no need for England to pick a second keeper or spinner for the main ashes squad. Outside of injury I cannot see England playing any other spinner than Swann. They can be in the performance squad. It has to be remembered that back up squad members will not get much if any cricket once the Test's start so if called upon will probably be out of form. Monty and one or two younger spinners should be in that performance squad as back up. They will probably get more cricket.

  • Charlie101 on September 18, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    If Bresnan is fit then we do not really need an all rounder as Broad and Swann can bat pretty well and are right up there in terms of test allrounder averages . Therefore assuming Bresnan is fit and Johnny Bairstow goes as batsman/ wicket keeping back up , the question is Compton or Carberry / Taylor and Rankin or Tremlett. Monty will be rehabilitated at high speed after Kerrigan's nerves got the better of him at the Oval as despite now being an ' 'Essex ' boy he will not misbehave again .

  • JG2704 on September 18, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    I pretty much go with Andy Plowright's squad. Agree there's probably no need for 2 spinners if we have someone in the Lions/performance squad that can be drafted in. Additionally Eng could have JB in the performance squad if they want to have both Compton and Taylor in the main squad. I'm not sure if JB being dropped for the 5/1/5 was just part of the experiment or if they have changed their minds about him again. The one player who is not mentioned is Woakes. While his stats are not as good as 2012 he still has a better CC average with both bat and ball than Stokes (albeit with less runs and wickets from less games) but if Stokes is considered so should Woakes be. I think Stokes definitely has the potential to play test cricket but I'd prob not include him at this stage

  • Nickoshot on September 18, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    As for the test all-rounder I am more interested in seeing a bit more of Woakes. Yes his bowling looked a bit floaty but have a lot of players when they first make the step up. The England backroom staff should be working on adding a bit of bite but with his first class bowling average he clearly knows how to take wicket in red ball cricket

    His batting looked his stronger suit however can't be any worse than any of the other number sixes England have had since Bell moved to 5. Very much a forth Seamer/fifth bowler but could be more

  • yogesh.gg on September 18, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    England definitely look most balanced test side with plenty of bench strength .. Rankin in bench strength is a scary prospect for the opposition team. Good time ahead for England.

  • jmcilhinney on September 18, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    As a few have mentioned, it's definitely advantageous to have the Lions/Performance tour running concurrent to the Ashes tour, similar to what a number of countries are doing now. Having players available who are used to local conditions and have been playing competitive cricket in case of an injury or form slump rather than flying them half way across the world from a home winter is a huge plus. It's hard to see how both Rankin and Stokes wouldn't be in Australia this winter. Whether it is as part of the senior squad or not remains to be seen but they are definite prospects, Rankin maybe more immediately than Stokes. I'll say again, it's a shame for Ireland to have lost Rankin's services but he's likely to become a better bowler for England simply due to exposure to a higher level of competition.

  • siddhartha87 on September 18, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Meh! Giles is bluffing :D

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 18, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    @PFEL: Some DVD's might make a good Christmas present for you, as you seem to have missed the last thousand Ashes.

  • on September 18, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    England are clearly looking to get something from stokes like they did from Flintoff. it's pretty obvious. and i don't see any harm in that. but on a high profile tour like this, it's better to get a bit of experience in there. Bopara at number six for me.i would go for Cook,Root,Trott,KP,Bell,Bopara,Prior,Swann,Broad,Jimmy,Rankin.

  • on September 18, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    Re: RodStark I think Bairstow goes as someone who is a candidate for number 6 but also if Prior gets injured the day of a match or during the match he can take the gloves and do a job.

    Taylor won't be in the main touring squad - he will go on the lions tour, which I think is the same for Stokes. Stokes may be one of the next in line but I think playing for the Lions and available if necessary makes more sense for someone without a huge amount of experience. I think the other batsman will be one of Compton and Carberry, as not sure that England are truly convinced Root won't struggle opening and if injury occurs on the day of the match that the spare opener can come in with Root dropping into middle order

    With the bowlers, Finn & Bres are in the main touring party and I think its a toss up between Rankin & Tremlett for the other back up seamer with the other going on the Lions tour - gut instinct says Tremlett on main tour, Rankin lions. Jordan will be another on the lions tour

  • on September 18, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Firstly, Kallis is still in his prime...has been for 10 years. Secondly, Rankin can play for England without qualifying because he has not played great cricket (similar to Gavin Hamilton a few years back). Thirdly, my squad for the Ashes is: Cook Root Carberry Trott KP Bell Bopara Butler Prior Swann Panesar Anderson Broad Finn Bresnan Rankin

    Stokes' turn will come.

  • Iddo555 on September 18, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    I don't really think Giles said anything, it's just media talk. They ask him if Stokes's performance means he's in with a chance of an Ashes place? He says 'well it couldn't do any harm' and all of a sudden we see headlines like Giles pushes Stokes claim for test place.

    Stokes will turn out to be a great all rounder, his batting is probably better than his bowling despite him playing at 8 in the ODIs. I see him being a number 6 in all three formats going forward

  • on September 17, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    I guess I should just sit back and enjoy this as an Aussie, but Stokes for the test side would be a terrible call unless his long form batting is much, much better. Yes, he got a five-for but it surely ranks as one of the softest for the year when you look at the dismissals - a decent ODI haul but none were wcket-taking deliveries in a test match.

  • on September 17, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    I cannot understand the clamour for Stokes. In one day matches, somebody will always be leading wicket taker. This means NOTHING. Had Stokes demolished Australia i could understand, but getting a few wickets from an out of nick top order and a few from the tail when they're swinging from the hip, means ditto in my opinion. Stoke's batting was average at best, in the partnership with Buttler he never looked comfortable and it was Buttler who did the hard yards. I can only assume Stokes has a great PR team behind him!! as so far it seems much ado about nothing - average with bat and ball. I guess Giles is the PR, and has to somehow draw out some positives no matter how false or tenuous, from his disastrous tenure so far! Rankin deserves consideration for his great economy rate and suitability. Entertaining the notion of Stokes is ludicrous and symptomatic of Britains need for 'flavour of the month' decision making rather than using cold hard facts.

  • PFEL on September 17, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    I watched the whole series (when it wasn't raining) and Stokes looked very average. I know he took 5 in the last game but he didn't really bowl that well it was just lucky. As an Aussie I would love him in the Ashes squad because, like all England's reserves this summer (except Rankin) he looks far below international standard.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 17, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    They will take 16 originally and end up with 17 (as per the last series, where Shahzad joined to enable 3 other seamers to play the mid-series tour games - this time it'll probably be a spinner as the 17th - Kerrigan). The squad will be:

    Cook(c), Root, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bopara, Prior(wk), Bairstow(wk), Swann, Broad, Bresnan (if fit, Stokes if not), Anderson, Onions, Tremlett, Rankin.

    With Finn, Woakes, Kerrigan, Stokes and Ballance as the Lions squad members to be considered 1st upon injuries.

    Highly doubt Bopara will play a Test, even with a few injuries, but he is a safe option to go to first if they really want an all-round seam option. Woakes and Stokes will be too young/inexperienced this time around.

    There is not a chance that Rankin or Tremlett won't go. Finn just isn't up to it at present. While Onions is there as the Anderson replacement, if required.

  • cric698 on September 17, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    'How is it that Rankin can play for England... When he represented Ireland less that 2 years ago?'

    Because he chose to, and spent the time to become eligible....More to the point he's from N. Ireland..part of the UK!

    He has as much right to play for the England cricket team as a guy from Wales, Scotland or England

  • on September 17, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    It's not so difficult to figure is it? Onions will go as cover for Anderson while Finn and Rankin are a good bet for the remaining bowling spots (provided Bresnan is not fully fit as seems very unlikely). Buttler did very well with both bat and gloves and may get the nod as reserve wicketkeeper ahead of Bairstow. Add Stokes, Taylor and Compton and you have your squad of sixteen, a good blend of youth and experience.

  • RodStark on September 17, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Oops, I somehow forget Onions in my previous post.

  • anton1234 on September 17, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    Team

    1) Cook 2) Root 3) Trott 4) Pietersen 5) Bell 6) Stokes 7) Prior 8) Broad 9) Swann 10) Anderson 11) Tremlett

    12) Rankin 13) Tremlett 14) Bairstow (reserve WK/batsman) 15) Rayner (2nd spinner) 16) Bresnan

    If a 17th man is taken then I would add Carberry to the above list. He showed potential. I would take Rayner as the 2nd spinner.

    Stokes can develop into a Flintoff, only better.

  • 2.14istherunrate on September 17, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    As a prelude to speculation it is worth remembering that they have a Perfomance Squad in Australia too, so sides can theoretically be picked from two parties- The spots open for consideration are the seam attack backups to Broad, Anderson, Bresnan. Onions, and Tremlett I would happy with and Finn too. Rankin can go on Performance Tour. He has little experience yet though looked good. The batsmen are Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell.6 is a hard position to fill and Bairstow can double dutes as second keeper here. Other contenders for six are Taylor, Bopara, Morgan and with a spare opener required I would go back to Compton as spare for that role,as blooding another opener in Australia would be stupid.I think for six I would put Taylor in PSquad, and Bopara, and keep Morgan to compete with Bairstow. With Morgan I suspect one gets the batsman plus the person,after watching ODI's. Seems logical. Spinners: Swann and Monty,who else? Well there is no-one else apart from him.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 17, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    @Nutcutlet: I do agree, but it could also be the beginning of these inevitable and annoying mind-games that always go on before big series. Before the recent Ashes series, we could probably easily make two entirely separate teams out of all the players that were discussed/hyped/spotted, only to be overlooked or discarded and in some cases never heard of again since.

    Like pretty much everyone that's commented here, I wish Giles and co. would just say "yeah, the boy done well and he bodes well for the future." - and talk about something else. The weather for example is a popular topic here in U.K.

  • on September 17, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Cook, Root and Compton as openers. Carberry hasn't warranted a Test slot and Chopra is the only real other choice. AUstralian conditions I suspect will suit Compton right down to the ground.

    Trott, Pietersen, Bell as our middle order. Taylor as backup.

    Prior and Bairstow as the two wicketkeeping options, Bairstow also adds middle-order protection.

    Anderson, Broad, Finn, Rankin, and Onions as the seam attack.

    Swann as the sole spinner. Spare spinners would be better getting overs in with the Lions than carrying drinks for the full XI.

    Bresnan or Stokes for the bowling all-rounder slot. Pick Bresnan if fit, Stokes will be with the Lions anyhow.

  • RodStark on September 17, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    "the first 12 pick themselves"

    Hmm... Specualtion time!

    Cook, Root, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson

    I make that 9 definites. Wonder who the other three are? Bresnan if fit. Bairstow as spare keeper/batsman. That makes 11. we still need:

    1 extra batsman/all-rounder: probably between Bopara, Woakes, and Stokes--or Taylor if they want a "pure" batsman. I suspect they may have been auditioning Carberry as spare batsman, but he didn't really work out in the one-dayers.

    1 spare spinner: depends on whther they see this as cover for Swann, in which case Tredwell, or if they think they might play two spinners together, in which case Panesar, I suppose. Kerrigan is certainly out of it, and there doesn't seem to be anyone else in the frame.

    3 more quicks: Probably Rankin and Finn. Not Tremlett in that case. Maybe they take Woakes and Stokes? Jordan did pretty well in his only game and might be taken if Bresnan is not fit.

  • on September 17, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    I would rather they take an English giant in Tremlett than an Irish one in Rankin!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Stokes can club the ball into the middle of the next country and can bowl at 145ks+, but he's still got a lot of development left before he can be considered a serious prospect for this England team full of stars, an England team that gearing up to give the aussies another 4-0 hammering.

  • mrpfister on September 17, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Since when did a few decent ODI performances mean anything in terms of Test selection? That's what Australia have been doing for the last year or so and look where it's got them. The only criteria for selection should be first class performances. Can this guy bowl an attacking line with 3 slips and a gully or can this guy bat all day? A few economical overs or a run-a-ball 30 at the end of an ODI innings mean nothing.

  • Reececonrad on September 17, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    If Graeme Onions is not in the Ashes squad then the England selectors are as blind as Tony Hill(and Dharmasena) was when he(they) gave Khawaja out. He has taken 63 wickets at 17.73 this season and last season he took 64 at 14.98 last season. 127 wickets in 21 games. What does this guy have to do to get selected, he is a very good swing bowler, who has a very consistent line and length. he may not be delivering the ball at 145+, but neither does Philander who is the number 2 bowler in the world. Onions is not treated very well by selectors at the moment. I hear some say how well Stokes and Rankin have done in this one day series and that they should be on the plane come November, they are a bit deluded. Without looking at some stats to back that up, some commentators have spoken out on various different types of Media expressing their views on who should be there " at Brisbane", if they overlook the amount of success of Onions then what type of "experts" are they.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 17, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Said it pre-series, Ben Stokes is the most talented player in world cricket at the moment. His batting will regress playing at Chester-Le-Street, as he'll forever get balls with his name on it on that green top. He needs to move to a proper Test ground team and really get his batting back on track, as it was 2 years ago.

    No doubting he can bat top 5 and be a first change seamer in 18 months or so. The first of such since the great Jacques Kallis was in his prime. (Watson is a 5th bowler at best!)

  • StrangeWays on September 17, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    How is it that Rankin can play for England... When he represented Ireland less that 2 years ago?

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 17, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    So who would he come in for? Jonny Bairstow? I haven't seen him with the red ball, but he'd need to be better than what I saw of him with the white ball here in U.K. to be of any use in Australian conditions.

  • MarkTaffin on September 17, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    "The first 12 pick themselves", do they Gilo? We're (the selectors, that is!) not even sure of the 11th player in the team, and one of the other 10 - Bresnan. So how do you get to 12 automatics?????

  • MarkTaffin on September 17, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    "The first 12 pick themselves", do they Gilo? We're (the selectors, that is!) not even sure of the 11th player in the team, and one of the other 10 - Bresnan. So how do you get to 12 automatics?????

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 17, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    So who would he come in for? Jonny Bairstow? I haven't seen him with the red ball, but he'd need to be better than what I saw of him with the white ball here in U.K. to be of any use in Australian conditions.

  • StrangeWays on September 17, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    How is it that Rankin can play for England... When he represented Ireland less that 2 years ago?

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 17, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Said it pre-series, Ben Stokes is the most talented player in world cricket at the moment. His batting will regress playing at Chester-Le-Street, as he'll forever get balls with his name on it on that green top. He needs to move to a proper Test ground team and really get his batting back on track, as it was 2 years ago.

    No doubting he can bat top 5 and be a first change seamer in 18 months or so. The first of such since the great Jacques Kallis was in his prime. (Watson is a 5th bowler at best!)

  • Reececonrad on September 17, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    If Graeme Onions is not in the Ashes squad then the England selectors are as blind as Tony Hill(and Dharmasena) was when he(they) gave Khawaja out. He has taken 63 wickets at 17.73 this season and last season he took 64 at 14.98 last season. 127 wickets in 21 games. What does this guy have to do to get selected, he is a very good swing bowler, who has a very consistent line and length. he may not be delivering the ball at 145+, but neither does Philander who is the number 2 bowler in the world. Onions is not treated very well by selectors at the moment. I hear some say how well Stokes and Rankin have done in this one day series and that they should be on the plane come November, they are a bit deluded. Without looking at some stats to back that up, some commentators have spoken out on various different types of Media expressing their views on who should be there " at Brisbane", if they overlook the amount of success of Onions then what type of "experts" are they.

  • mrpfister on September 17, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Since when did a few decent ODI performances mean anything in terms of Test selection? That's what Australia have been doing for the last year or so and look where it's got them. The only criteria for selection should be first class performances. Can this guy bowl an attacking line with 3 slips and a gully or can this guy bat all day? A few economical overs or a run-a-ball 30 at the end of an ODI innings mean nothing.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Stokes can club the ball into the middle of the next country and can bowl at 145ks+, but he's still got a lot of development left before he can be considered a serious prospect for this England team full of stars, an England team that gearing up to give the aussies another 4-0 hammering.

  • on September 17, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    I would rather they take an English giant in Tremlett than an Irish one in Rankin!

  • RodStark on September 17, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    "the first 12 pick themselves"

    Hmm... Specualtion time!

    Cook, Root, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson

    I make that 9 definites. Wonder who the other three are? Bresnan if fit. Bairstow as spare keeper/batsman. That makes 11. we still need:

    1 extra batsman/all-rounder: probably between Bopara, Woakes, and Stokes--or Taylor if they want a "pure" batsman. I suspect they may have been auditioning Carberry as spare batsman, but he didn't really work out in the one-dayers.

    1 spare spinner: depends on whther they see this as cover for Swann, in which case Tredwell, or if they think they might play two spinners together, in which case Panesar, I suppose. Kerrigan is certainly out of it, and there doesn't seem to be anyone else in the frame.

    3 more quicks: Probably Rankin and Finn. Not Tremlett in that case. Maybe they take Woakes and Stokes? Jordan did pretty well in his only game and might be taken if Bresnan is not fit.

  • on September 17, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Cook, Root and Compton as openers. Carberry hasn't warranted a Test slot and Chopra is the only real other choice. AUstralian conditions I suspect will suit Compton right down to the ground.

    Trott, Pietersen, Bell as our middle order. Taylor as backup.

    Prior and Bairstow as the two wicketkeeping options, Bairstow also adds middle-order protection.

    Anderson, Broad, Finn, Rankin, and Onions as the seam attack.

    Swann as the sole spinner. Spare spinners would be better getting overs in with the Lions than carrying drinks for the full XI.

    Bresnan or Stokes for the bowling all-rounder slot. Pick Bresnan if fit, Stokes will be with the Lions anyhow.