The Investec Ashes 2013 August 17, 2013

England may look at Kerrigan

England will name their final Test squad of the summer on Sunday morning and it could be the most interesting of the season. Tim Bresnan is out of contention, opening a spot in the pace department, and there may also be an indication of some of the players in line to tour Australia later this year.

Monty Panesar's recent problems, which are a cause for some serious concern around the game, raise the question of who is now the No. 2 to Graeme Swann. It would be a surprise for England to play two frontline spinners at The Oval but like at Old Trafford, when Panesar was included, the selectors may want to offer Andy Flower and Alastair Cook the option should the surface resemble a dustbowl.

Heading that queue now is Simon Kerrigan, the Lancashire left-arm spinner, who has 47 wickets at 20.23 in the Championship (albeit Division Two) which makes him the leading spinner in the country. He played against the Australians at Wantage Road in the two-day fixture and took 1 for 66 in 17 overs, although did receive some punishment from Shane Watson.

He has been on the England radar for a couple of seasons - a regular in Lions squads - and given the gap in wickets between him and any other contenders it would be a surprise if the selectors went elsewhere should they want a second spinner. Because of the success of Swann and Panesar in recent years it is one area where they have not had to dig too deep.

Given England's desire for continuity, Bresnan's replacement is strongly tipped to be Chris Tremlett who has been part of the squad for the previous two matches, although the selectors will likely name another option as well. Graham Onions' broken finger will rule him out so there could be a recall for Steven Finn or a maiden call-up for Warwickshire's Boyd Rankin who has been part of the one-day squads already this summer.

The enforced absence of Bresnan may also quell any thoughts - if they existed - of resting Anderson who has not been at his best since Trent Bridge. After a week off between Tests, the likelier option for Anderson is that he will be excused the one-day duties which follow during September.

Kevin Pietersen's troublesome knee could require some batting cover although earlier this week he was confirmed as being available for selection. Again, previous experience this season suggests that James Taylor is the next in line for a middle-order spot although Gary Ballance struck a timely hundred against the Australians for the Lions.

Jonny Bairstow has not convinced during the series, with 203 runs at 29, but at 3-0 up England are unlikely to make changes for the sake of it but there are arguments to make for Taylor or Ballance to slot into the middle order. One of them is likely to be part of the squad to tour Australia later in the year.

Possible squad Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Simon Kerrigan, Steven Finn, James Taylor

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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