Cricket

Boyd Rankin deserves Ashes chance

Rankin claimed the wickets of both Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade on Sunday. (©GettyImages)
Rankin claimed the wickets of both Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade on Sunday. (©GettyImages).

When Mitchell Johnson took the wicket of Jonathan Trott during Sunday's ODI at Old Trafford with a short, fast and accurate delivery above 90mph, it left England with a mountain to climb at 9-2.

However, the wicket would have come as slight encouragement for England's Boyd Rankin.

The 29-year old possesses many similar attributes to his Australian counterpart and the dismissal would have shown him what can be done on a hard, bouncing surface.

When England visit Australia to contest the second Ashes series of 2013, it is expected that the Aussies will prepare similar pitches to the one in Manchester, which boosts Rankin's chances of a first-ever test call-up.

And, should he be selected, he has the ability to cause real damage down under.

For a start, he stands at a whopping 6ft 8in tall, which gives him the ability to get extra pace and bounce; something every batsman in the world fears.

Not only that, Rankin has been the pick of the England quickies in the one-day format thus far, which is a real testament to his credentials as an international fast bowler seeing as the shorter form of cricket tends to favour aggressive, high-scoring batsmen.

Even in the crushing 88-run defeat by the Aussies on Sunday, he still managed credible figures of 2-49 from his 10 overs, including the wickets of captain Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade in successive deliveries.

It is these types of performances that give Rankin a real shout of being on the plane to Australia in November.

He seems far ahead of his competition, too. 

Chris Tremlett has struggled to replicate the form that guided England to a series win in Australia three years ago, and fellow gargantuan bowler Steven Finn has been too inconsistent to hold down a regular place.

Graham Onions may feel that he is worthy of a chance to impress, but he doesn't seem to be the type of player England's attack needs.

Arguably the country's fourth-best bowler is Tim Bresnan, but he has been plagued by injury and the selectors are unlikely to take a gamble with his fitness in such a crucial series.

Some may think selecting Rankin would be a gamble in itself, but he has demonstrated such calmness under pressure in recent weeks that suggests he will be more than up for the challenge when the pressure is well and truly on.

Add to that his height, pace, bounce and consistency and you have the the perfect solution to England's bowling dilemma.

If he does get the nod, rest assured we'll be seeing plenty of dismissals similar to Trott's this winter.

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Topics:
The Ashes
England cricket
Cricket

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