After months of speculations about the cancellation of the Ashes, the marquee series is all set to go ahead as scheduled after the England Cricket Board (ECB) reportedly confirmed the participation of a full-strength team. The decision was taken considering the feedback of the players who gave their nods after Cricket Australia (CA) significantly eased out the terms of the tour.
While most of the senior players are likely to be part of the series, former England cricketer Michael Vaughan has named three players he wants to see on the Australia tour. Destructive batter Liam Livingstone was Vaughan’s first pick. Vaughan feels that Livingstone has an all-round game to thrive in Australian conditions.
“With Jos Buttler or Jonny Bairstow at six, Livingstone can come in with a swagger and intimidate at seven. He bowls a bit of spin that could be handy on days four or five. He is a brilliant fielder and he has that arrogance and confidence you need in Australia so I would have him in the squad. He averages just under 40 with the bat in first-class cricket, numbers that are not very different to the others, so why not look at him as an all-round cricketer, ” said Vaughan
The former skipper then backed spinner Matt Parkinson’s selection in the team. Vaughan earmarked Parkinson as the best England spinner after Jack Leach. Vaughan feels while England might not play him in the XI, they can groom him for the future. “Australia is a good tour for his development because you would not look to play him at the start. He bowled pretty well in the Bob Willis Trophy match. He gives the ball a chance, plenty of flight and a good rip. Look, we are not stocked full of high-class spinners so why not try and develop a player this winter like Parkinson,” he said
Finally, Vaughan said he wants to see Saqib Mahmood board the flight to Australia. Mahmood became an overnight star after an impressive limited-overs series against Pakistan. He was selected in the England squad for the India Tests but didn’t get an opportunity to play. Vaughan feels Ashes will be a great learning curve for him. “He is talked about as the most skilful of the younger bowlers coming through. England missed a chance to play him in the summer when they went with Craig Overton instead. I’ve heard from good sources that of all the quicks he is the one with the confidence and potential to have a career in all formats across all conditions. Jimmy Anderson speaks very highly of him.