Former England captain Michael Vaughan expects Boyd Rankin to be selected for this winter’s Ashes.
England are due to name their touring party early next week with Rankin the player that has bolted into contention over the past month.
The 29-year-old, uncapped at Test level, troubled Australia’s batsmen during the NatWest series defeat and has seemingly been groomed for an Ashes place.
Rankin was called up for England’s three-day warm-up match against Essex on the eve of this summer’s 3-0 Ashes success and subsequently made his Twenty20 and one-day international debuts in English colours.
Nine wickets at an average of 16.88 in the 50-over format since has underlined why England’s selectors have shown faith in a player who does have the international experience of 37 ODIs before switching allegiances from Ireland.
“I have been immensely impressed with Boyd Rankin,” Vaughan said.
“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.”
Vaughan also would not be surprised if this winter’s Ashes is decided by fine margins.
The 38-year-old believes Australia will tailor pitches to suit their quicks - their strongest suit - and is wary coach Darren Lehmann has introduced plans to worry England.
“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 - they haven’t won. England know how to win the key moments.”